• An Assessment of the Use of Expired Prescription Medication in the Elderly Population

      Slack, Marion; Siegrest, Emily C.; Gentry, Todd; Sterling, Andew; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2008)
      Objectives: Use of expired and unused prescription medication in the elderly population is not clearly defined. Improper use of medication can lead to serious adverse drug events and poor health outcomes. More information on the actual use of expired and unused medications in the elderly population may help in determining the need for future education of this population on this subject. Methods: A total of 72 people 65 years or older completed an anonymous survey about use of expired and unused medication. The completed survey was returned by mail. The data was extracted into a database and analyzed using chi-squared, averages, and percentages. Results: The data showed that there was no significant difference between the age groups with respect to willingness to share medications with family or friends. The population was predominantly white, and most respondents had completed some level of college education. The results showed 69.4% of respondents would share at least one category of medication with a friend or family member. 56.9% of respondents would share at least one category of medication with a friend, and 66.7% would share at least one with a family member (p=0.23). Respondents indicated they would take 23.4% of the medications listed as being in their possession if they were expired and would only share only 6.9% of the listed medications with a friend or family member. Conclusions: This data demonstrated that this population was reluctant to share medications they actually possessed, but were theoretically willing to share some categories of medications. More research needs to be done to assess use of expired medications and medication sharing in all populations, and especially in the elderly population.