The endurance of medication overload: Rethinking the medication review process

Medications can be very useful tools for clinicians to help treat, prevent, and even cure illness, but they can also cause harm, especially when used inappropriately. In a recent report, “Medication Overload: America's Other Drug Problem,” the Lown Institute found that polypharmacy among Americans aged 65 years and older has increased substantially over the past few decades, and with it the rate of adverse drug events More

Eliminating Medication Overload: A National Action Plan

To eliminate medication overload, serious cultural, educational, and policy changes are needed. This action plan offers recommendations for policymakers, health care institutions, clinicians, and patients across five key categories to reduce harm from multiple medication use. Suggested Citation: Eliminating medication overload: A national action plan. Working Group on Medication Overload. Brookline, MA: The Lown Institute, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.46241/LI.YLBW4885 More

Too Many Meds? A Tale of Medication Overload

Taking lots of medications is, for many of us, an inevitable part of getting older. While some of these drugs help keep us healthy, there are serious risks to taking too many. For my husband, the drugs he was prescribed to alleviate his symptoms became a cascade of medications that eventually destroyed his health. More

How to Address the Harm of Medication Overload

According to a new report, if prescribing patterns do not change in the US, older adults will experience at least 74 million adverse drug events requiring medical care and will be hospitalized nearly 5 million times in the next decade. Eliminating Medication Overload: A National Action Plan, a report issued by the Lown Institute, is based on input from national experts, and highlights the risks of overprescribing and overuse of medications, particularly in older adults. The report is both a wakeup call and a roadmap that offers policy recommendations and guidance for health care institutions, clinicians, and older adults to reduce harm from multiple medication use. More

How to reduce medication overload in long-term care

Over the past decade, the use of multiple medications (clinically known as “polypharmacy”) has skyrocketed among older adults. Aging brings ailments and chronic illnesses, and more illnesses generally lead to more prescriptions. But every additional medication taken by an older person increases the risk of a serious side effect. As medication use has dramatically increased, too many older adults are simply overloaded with medications that are more likely to harm rather than help them. More