Researchers from the University of East Anglia and the University of Kent have collated data from 13,000 pensioners (over-65 year olds) over a twenty year period to try and understand how the side-effects of common drugs affect the patients taking them.
The study concluded that by taking a variety of common medicines, prescribed to treat routine illnesses, patients are increasing their mortality rate. Simultaneously, the onset of dementia among the pensioners surveyed has been exacerbated by such drugs.
A number of common medicines have been identified as causing the most damage and these include allergy treatments such as some anti-histamines and antidepressants. In isolation, the damage is limited but it is a concern when patients take a combination of these drugs, which can be a frequent occurrence.
Since many of these drugs can be bought over-the-counter, many doctors are uninformed about all the medication which their elderly patients are prescribing themselves and, consequently, do not review the situation. In addition, as many of the drugs identified are not the ‘obvious’ medicines, pharmacists and medical professionals may be unaware of the risks involved.
A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said,
“Our priority is to ensure that patients are taking acceptably safe medicines. All medicines have side-effects – no effective medicine is without risk”.
It is suggested, with this in mind, that pensioners should constantly review their medication (both prescriptive and non-prescriptive). Alternatively, researching into alternative medicines, and Homeopathy in particular,, where effective treatment is possible without the unwanted side-effects may be conducive!
(The Daily Telegraph, 24th June 2011 and Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
This article was first published by the ARH in the Septemeber 2011 issue 16 of 'Homeopathy Healthy Medicine'.
The ARH regularly publish these newsletters to provide information about homeopathy to the public that is not usually available through our mainstream media. ARH makes them available to everyone as free downloads (go to www.a-r-h.org
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