Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been found to cause real problems for the elderly more than any other type of drug.
A panel of physicians and pharmacists looked at over 1000 patient records and found that NSAIDs were the drug causing the most hospital admissions in the elderly.
Not only that, but the complications were almost always gastrointestinal, a well known side effect of the drugs.
The panelists say these problems could definitely be prevented in three quarters of cases and possibly avoided in another fifth.
After a broad education programme aimed at doctors and patients, there was a fall in the number of NSAID prescriptions, but this fall varied between regions and cannot be positively attributed to the programme (Medical Monitor, Nov 12, 1997).
See WDDTY vol 2 no 12 for more information on NSAIDs for arthritis.