Elderly people on medication risk accidental overdose because they may not know their correct dosage, it was warned today.
One in five older people are concerned that they may not be taking their medicines correctly, according to new research carried out by the Irish Pharmaceutical Union.
"These findings are very concerning given the strong possibility of accidental overdose, or underdose as the case may be, if older people are uncertain how much medication they are to take," president of the IPU Michael Guckian said.
The IPU has put forward proposals to the Health Department and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to help at-risk older people in taking their medicines.
"We need to have an organised structure for interacting with older citizens and we need the full support of the HSE in facilitating this", Mr Guckian added.
Meanwhile the IPU has also called for pharmacists to deregulate the morning after pill making it available without prescription.
"There are many medicines with a good safety record available directly from pharmacists in other EU countries for which patients here currently require a prescription," said chairman of the Community Pharmacy Committee, Darragh O'Loughlin.
"This means unnecessary delays and costs for patients in getting their medication."
The IPU has also called for certain skin, preventative heart disease and thrush medication to also be deregulated.