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Intern Med J. 2003 Aug;33(8):388-92.

Medication use among older Australian veterans and war widows.

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Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Newcastle, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.


This study aimed to review the medications used by a group of Australian war veterans and widows, to identify type and number of medications used and potential inappropriate prescribing. Label details of 4304 medications used by 887 participants were recorded and classified according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical code. The median number of regular medications being used was four (interquartile range 2-7), with a median of one other medication (interquartile range 1-2) being taken as needed. Over half (53%) the participants were taking four or more regular medications. There were 26 potential interactions among 25 people. Polypharmacy was a considerable problem for this group of older Australians.

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