One in seven older people experience dysphagia
Int J Pharm Pract 2013;21 (suppl 2):7
Almost one in seven people over 70 years of age experiences difficulty swallowing medication, researchers from the University of East Anglia report. However, nurses are less likely than doctors or pharmacists to enquire about dysphagia.
Researchers asked 200 patients taking at least three prescribed medicines and aged over 70 years to fill in a questionnaire when they visited their community pharmacist. About half (51.3%) completed the questionnaire and 15.2% of these reported currently experiencing difficulties swallowing medication. A similar proportion (15.5%) reported previously experiencing swallowing problems, while 65% of dysphagic patients modified their medication to aid swallowing. One patient admitting never taking their medicine, and three occasionally missed doses, because of dysphagia.
However, just 10.2% and 9.3% of participants said that their doctors and pharmacists respectively had asked about swallowing problems. Only 7.2% said that their nurses had asked about dysphagia - despite swallowing problems being a 'red flag' for several serious diseases.
AEDs linked to hypothyroidism
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety (2013) doi:10.1002/pds.3498