Ms Abrahams urged pensioners who were on multiple medications to talk to their GP, and not come off any drugs without a consultation. “It is really important that a clinician, typically your GP, has a good overview of all your medicines and considers from time to time with you whether they are still the best for your health, not only on their own but when taken together with the other medications you are on.“Most older people would agree that the fewer pills they have to pop, the better,” she said. The report warns that side effects such as confusion, dizziness and delirium can mean elderly people end up being rushed to hospital, or even suffering fatal consequences. A 2015 study in Spain found those taking six medicines or more a day were nearly three times as likely to die prematurely than those on no drugs at all.Health officials have embarked on a review of overprescribing, which is expected to report next year. Next month Public Health England will publish its findings from a separate investigation examining prescription drug addiction, amid concern about the rising number of people hooked on opiate painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants. “We recently launched a review into overprescribing in the NHS which experts, including Age UK, are contributing to and the findings will be published in due course.” NHS figures show one in eleven adults prescribed potentially addictive drugs in the past year – with a 50 per cent rise in prescribing levels over 15 years.Ministers said decisive action was needed to stop the problem reaching the scale now seen across the United States.Two thirds of those on “dependence forming medicines” are female, and typically in their 50s and 60s, national research shows.Dr Keith Ridge, England’s chief pharmaceutical officer said: “We know many patients are prescribed medicines they may no longer need or should be adjusted, which is why the NHS Long Term Plan is funding expert pharmacy teams across the country to give advice to people with long term illnesses – who are often taking multiple medicines for several conditions – and extra support to staff. The NHS is also already investing in thousands of new clinical pharmacists to work with GPs and care homes to carry out medication reviews with the most vulnerable patients.”A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We are committed to making sure patients get the safest and most appropriate treatment, while cutting down unnecessary prescriptions.“From October, patients leaving hospital will get more time with their pharmacists to discuss any changes to their medication. And as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, 900,000 more people will be referred to social prescribing schemes over the next five years. Two million pensioners are taking at least seven types of prescription drugs – putting them at risk of potentially lethal side-effects, a major report warns. Age UK said the rise of “polypharmacy” was putting lives at risk, with three quarters likely to suffer adverse reactions to at least one of their drugs. The research found that the number of emergency hospital admissions linked to such side-effects has risen by 53 per cent in seven years, with some cases proving fatal.Ministers have ordered a review of over prescribing, amid warnings that the drugs bill has risen from £13 billion to more than £18 billion in seven years. The charity warned that one in five people over retirement age – 1.97 million pensioners in total- are on at least seven types of drug. And one quarter of those over the age of 85 are on at least eight different treatments, the research shows.Experts said GPs were doling out too many drugs because they were too busy to properly consider complex health problems, and the risk of side-effects, and interactions between different drugs. Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to live at a time when there are so many effective drugs available to treat older people’s health conditions, but it’s a big potential problem if singly or in combination these drugs produce side effects that ultimately do an older person more harm than good.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The charity said all older people taking long-term medicines should be subject to medicine reviews, to ensure they were not on too many drugs, with “zero tolerance of inappropriate polypharmacy”.