Overdosing The Elderly

Many older Americans are taking the wrong drugs

Doctors call it the brown-bag test, and a growing number of them administer it the first time they meet with someone over the age of 65. The idea is for patients to empty the contents of their home medicine chest into a bag and bring it into the physician's office to show which drugs they have been taking. The results can be horrifying. Although most older Americans are taking fewer than five prescription drugs, it is not uncommon to find people who are swallowing three times that number. Often the person is being treated by several doctors, who may not know...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!