Advisory on Over-Medication of Persons with Intellectual Disability
"Over-Medication and Older Adults with Intellectual Disability: Risks for Brain Health," cautions users and families about several issues that arise from over-prescription and over-medication.
The National Task Group and the Health Matters Program at the University of Illinois Chicago collaborated on an advisory on over-medication of persons with intellectual disability. The organizations are part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Brain Initiative under the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act.
The National Institute on Aging and other organizations have noted that too often there is an accumulation of medications taken by older adults, and some of these medications may be no longer necessary or result in adverse effects. Studies show that many adults with intellectual disability are on numerous medications over their lifetime. Among older adults, some of these medications are still being taken even if unnecessary, others taken may cause behavioral problems or adverse health effects. Some taken for long periods may lead to cognitive problems and possibly dementia.
“This is a much-needed advisory,” said Dr. Seth Keller, a neurologist and co-president of the National Task Group and the past-chair of the American Academy of Neurology's Section on Adults with Intellectual Disability," as research and medical practice shows that many adults with intellectual disability may be on too many inappropriate medications.” Many families are concerned that some medications taken may have lost their original purpose or may be interfering with everyday functioning. Too often medication reviews are not undertaken and persons with intellectual disability, their families, and others concerned about their welfare, are not informed about how the medication being prescribed may not long be needed.
The new advisory cautions users and families about several issues that arise from over-prescription and over-medication. It offers suggestions for actions that primary care practitioners may undertake to review medications and their impact, as well as what families may do to become better informed and request medication reviews.
A PDF copy of the advisory, suitable for downloading can be accessed here. [www.the-ntg.org/pharmaceuticals]