Lots of Older Americans Would Like to Take Fewer Meds

Lots of Older Americans Would Like to Take Fewer Meds, Poll Finds

Lots of Older Americans Would Like to Take Fewer Meds

A new study finds that Americans over 50 are interested in cutting back on prescription medications, dovetailing with a movement toward “deprescribing.”

About 67% said they would seek their doctor’s advice before dropping a pill, according to Michigan Medicine’s National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Yet more than one-third of older adults said they had quit taking a medication they had been using for more than a year without talking first to a doctor, pharmacist or nurse practitioner.

“Deprescribing, which can include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements, should be based on dialogue between patients and providers, and sometimes family members,” said Sarah Vordenberg, a clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy who worked on the poll.

About 82% of people between 50 and 80 years of age take at least one prescription medicine regularly, the poll found.

About 28% think they take too many medicines.

More than half of respondents take three or more prescription medications.

About 11% regularly take three or more over-the-counter medicines. About 38% take three or more vitamins, minerals or supplements, according to the poll.

It was administered online and by phone in January to more than 2,500 adults aged 50 to 80, then weighted to reflect the U.S. population.