Drug reactions send 700,000 patients to ER each year

According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 700,000 Americans go to the ER each year as a result of adverse drug reactions or interactions. Patients over 65 were much more likely to experience these problems because of the greater number of prescription drugs they take. Certain types of drugs are also much more likely to send people to the ER: “Three medications--the blood thinner warfarin, the diabetes drug insulin and the heart medicine digoxin--accounted for one-third of drug-related emergency room visits among people over 65,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Experts say the study illuminates the need for the medical community to better monitor which drugs patients are taking and how they might interact. In addition, Dr. David Bates of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston says prescribing slightly lower levels of drugs to the elderly could cut down on hospital visits since many elderly patients’ bodies can’t handle high drug doses. Report