Drug prescribing patterns in the elderly: A cross-sectional study of in-patients

L. J. Christopher, B. R. Ballinger, A. M.M. Shepherd, A. Ramsay, G. Crooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A cross-sectional one-day survey of drug prescribing and use in elderly in-patients was carried out in Dundee hospitals. Altogether 873 patients were studied and analyses of prescribing patterns were carried out by patient categories-medical, surgical, geriatric, psychiatric and mentally subnormal-and by major drug groups. While the average number of drugs prescribed per patient on the study day was 3.3, which was not excessive, other results highlighted some possible problems of therapy, viz. the wide range of drugs used within drug groups, the common use of psychotropic drugs, dose regimes which although used in a geriatric population differed little from general adult dosages, and which sometimes involved many administrations per day. Examples were described relating to the use of nitrazepam, phenothiazines and tricyclic antidepressants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
JournalAge and ageing
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging


Dive into the research topics of 'Drug prescribing patterns in the elderly: A cross-sectional study of in-patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this