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“Polypharmacy In Elderly Patients”

The practice of taking multiple drugs simultaneously (polypharmacy) is becoming routine, especially in so-called old folks.  When it comes to medications, I always first suggest relying on the adage, “Start low and go slow.”  Today, Americans are the number one pill poppers on the planet and this is especially true for the elderly and the 75 million aging baby boomers.  There is increased risks for cancer, heart disease, stroke and overall mortality associated with the common antioxidant vitamins A, C and E supplements and the common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as rofecoxib (Vioxx) and lumiracoxib have been associated with twice the risk of heart attack, while ibuprofen was associated with more than three times the risk of stroke.

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