Medication advice for older Aussies

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 16 September 2013

This year’s Be Medicinewise Week will focus on how older Australians can get wiser about their health and medications.

Now in its third year, Be Medicinewise Week runs from 14 October to 20 October.

NPS MedicineWise clinical adviser Dr Andrew Boyden says focusing on the health of Australia’s ageing population is particularly important because as people age, they often need to increase the number of medicines they take.

“Australia’s ageing population will have significant impacts on our health and aged care systems; but on a more personal level, getting older can mean significant changes to the way we think about our health and manage our medicines”, Dr Boyden says.

“Chronic health issues become more common with age so people typically find themselves taking more medicines as they get older.

“And while medicines are intended to keep us healthy, taking multiple medicines can be challenging and can lead to serious problems if we don’t manage them properly.

In the National Census of Medicines Use in Australia, NPS MedicineWise found that approximately 43% of people aged 50 years or older had taken five or more medicines in the previous day. The same was true of almost 50% of people aged 65­–74 years, and two out of three people aged 75 years or older.

During Be Medicinewise Week in October, NPS MedicineWise will release new findings about older Australians’ attitudes and behaviours when it comes to taking medicines.

  • Cate Swannell



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