‘Cocktail of medicine’ taken by some older people

Some older people are taking a ‘cocktail of medicine’ without fully understanding what the medicines are or what side effects they cause, according to a survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB).

According to the RPSGB, 43% of people over 65 take more than five medicines at any one time, with 20% saying they do not always take the medicine as prescribed, 60% saying they definitely or possibly have had a side effect, 9% saying they do not fully understand their medications or how they treat their conditions, and 14% saying they sometimes forget to take a pill at the recommended time.

The RPSGB has launched a campaign to persuade older people to visit their local pharmacist for a medication use review (MUR).