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J R Soc Med. 1981 March; 74(3): 196–200.
PMCID: PMC1438278

Use of drugs by the elderly1


This paper outlines the use of both prescribed and non-prescribed medication by the elderly in the community. The study examined a number of factors related to medication including compliance, the types of drugs taken, the manner in which drugs were stored and disposed of, and the advice that patients received. The findings revealed a lack of coordination of responsibility in the management of patients' medicines leading to inappropriate drug use, posing a potential risk to the patient. It is against this background that we propose that the role of the general practice pharmacist should be extended within a structured health care programme; pharmacists should be encouraged to keep total medication records on patients of 65 and over.

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Selected References

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  • Crooks J, Shepherd AM, Stevenson IH. Drugs and the elderly. The nature of the problem. Health Bull (Edinb) 1975 Sep;33(5):222–227. [PubMed]
  • Hurwitz N. Predisposing factors in adverse reactions to drugs. Br Med J. 1969 Mar 1;1(5643):536–539. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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  • Skegg DC, Doll R, Perry J. Use of medicines in general practice. Br Med J. 1977 Jun 18;1(6076):1561–1563. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shulman S, Shulman JI. Operating a two-card medication record system in general practice pharmacy. Practitioner. 1980 Oct;224(1348):989–992. [PubMed]
  • Wandless I, Mucklow JC, Smith A, Prudham D. Compliance with prescribed medicines: a study of elderly patients in the community. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1979 Jul;29(204):391–396. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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