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Adverse Reactions to Diabetes Meds, Antiplatelet Drugs, Blood Thinner, and Insulin Linked to Elderly Seniors Ending Up in the ER, Reports New Study

According to a recent study, there are four kinds of medications that are most commonly linked to adverse reactions that end up sending about 100,000 elderly persons to the emergency room each year. These medications are the blood thinner warfarin, insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, and antiplatelet drugs. Meantime, meds considered “high-risk” were only a factor in 1.2% of these hospitalizations. More on the study can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine’s November 24 issue.

Our Boston injury lawyers want to remind you of the important of doctors notifying patients of any risks involved with taking certain medications-especially when taking more than one drug. There also may be a way to treat someone’s condition without medication. Meantime, it is also the responsibility of drug manufacturers to make sure that they warn doctors and consumers of any adverse reactions that can result from taking a medication, while keeping serious side effects to a minimum. Failure to fulfill these duties can be grounds for a Massachusetts dangerous drug lawsuit.

Researchers involved in this recent study identified between 2007 and 2009 over 5,000 involving patients in the 65 and over age group that experienced an adverse reaction to certain medications. 48% of those who were hospitalized belonged to the age 80 and over age group. Accidental overdose was a factor in 66% of these incidents.

Of the four types of medications most commonly cited, bleeding was the main issue of concern for the blood thinners and antiplatelets. Seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, and other changes in mental states were side effects associated with the diabetes medications.

The study notes how important it to be aware that when seniors are involved (especially those older than 80), there appears to be a higher risk of adverse side effects than if the person taking the medication was younger. However, it is important to remember that many of the patients were taking these drugs because they have to in order to maintain their health. The authors of the study noted that 40% of seniors are taking at least medications at a time, while about 18% have to take 10 drugs or more.

Four common meds send thousands of seniors to hospital, USA Today, November 25, 2011
Emergency Hospitalizations for Adverse Drug Events in Older Americans, New England Journal of Medicine, November 24, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Man Awarded $48.1M Dangerous Drug Verdict in Products Liability Lawsuit Over Motrin, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2011
Boston Personal Injury Lawsuit Blames Prenatal Exposure to DES for Breast Cancer, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 29, 2011
Boston, Massachusetts Accutane Lawsuits Blame Acne Drug for Severe Intestinal Problems, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 2, 2011
At Altman & Altman, LLP, our Boston injury lawyers represent clients with Massachusetts products liability lawsuits and Massachusetts medical negligence cases.