A recent study from the USA has provided a comparison of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements patterns during two periods, a decade apart. The subjects were comparable, nationally representative samples of community-dwelling older adults 62 to 85 years old. The use of at least one prescription medication slightly increased from 84.1% in 2005-2006 to 87.7% in 2010-2011 (P = 0.003). Concurrent use of at least 5 prescription medications increased from 30.6% to 35.8% (P = 0.02). Use of over-the-counter medications declined from 44.4% to 37.9%, and the use of dietary supplements increased from 51.8% to 63.7% (P < .001 for both). Clinically and statistically significant increases in the use of some classes of drugs were observed, including statins (33.8% to 46.2%), antiplatelets (32.8% to 43.0%), and omega-3 fish oils (4.7% to 18.6%). Using verifiable criteria, approximately 15.1% of older adults were at risk for a potential major drug-drug interaction in the later period, compared with an estimated 8.4% in 2005-2006 (P < .001). Polypharmacy and the use of clinically important supplement products appears to be on the rise. See more here