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Use of medication

Being old and suffering from a disease is not uncommon, in fact 77% of pharmaceutical expenditure is caused by pensioners, older people living in their own home use 2-4 drugs regularly, those in care institutions 6-8 and geriatric hospital patients even more, which increases the risk of adverse reactions and interactions. An adverse reaction is any unwanted, unpleasant or dangerous effect produced by the use of medicines. An interaction is the effect produced by the interaction of two medicines, which may cause them to be potentiated, not absorbed or lose their effect.

Generic drugs are of the highest quality for the patient but at the lowest possible cost to the system.

At the last semFYC congress it was reported that 3 out of 10 elderly people over 70 years old suffer at least one fall per year, associated with the consumption of drugs, mainly antihypertensive, antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs.

Whenever we go to the doctor we should inform ourselves about:

  • about all the medicines we take.
  • if there is a problem with one, that is if we have an intolerance or an allergy.
  • how the medicine will work.
  • find out about the non-prescription medicine and what side effects it may have.
  • whether the association may cause problems with other medicines we take.
  • whether there is any care taken with food or drinks.
  • whether it has to be taken at a certain time.
  • whether it can cause toxicity.
  • if I forget to take it, which is what I have to do.



  • Medicines should always be kept in the container.
  • You must always stick to the dose indicated by your doctor, even if the package leaflet says otherwise.
  • Syrups must be dosed with the small spoon in the container (a coffee spoon is 5ml and a dessert spoon is 10ml).
  • Any medicines that you do not take because you are cured of your health problem, please throw them away and do not keep them.
  • Medicines by system should not be stored in the refrigerator, medicines that need to be stored at a low temperature are usually indicated on the outside of the package.
  • Whenever you take medicines, do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Write down the treatment guidelines on a sheet of paper and leave it next to the container. The note should be clear and should avoid any confusion for you and others who may need to help you take this medicine because of forgetfulness or difficulty in opening the container.
  • Don't take the medicines recommended by friends and family. What is good for one person may not be good for another, i.e. it is very important not to self-medicate, which is one of the biggest problems we have at the moment in the use of medicines not only in the elderly but in the general population.


Appeal to the administration:

  • OCU survey: 16% of users do not know the meaning of the word "posology
  • It should be a document that is written for patients and not for health professionals.
  • It must be legible because of the size of the font.
  • They must highlight the benefits of the treatment
  • They must clearly define the impact of adverse effects
  • They must place the trade name and the active ingredient in the header and must include data on the excipients.

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