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BJCP article: Antiplatelet drugs are often inappropriately prescribed in older patients

Published: 19 Jul 2017 in Society news

A study has found that antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, are often inappropriately prescribed in acutely hospitalized older people.

Antiplatelet drugs are typically used to prevent conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, both for individuals at high risk (primary prevention) and for those who have already experienced one of these events (secondary prevention).

In the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology analysis of nearly 2,200 patients in Italian and Spanish internal medicine and geriatric clinical wards, 959 (44%) were prescribed an antiplatelet drug. Among patients prescribed for primary prevention, half of them were inappropriately prescribed (52%), being mainly overprescribed (155/209 patients, 74%). On the other hand, a high rate of inappropriate underprescription was also seen in the context of secondary prevention (222/726 patients, 31%).