Use of potentially inappropriate medications in the care of frail older people

Authors: Gnjidic, Danijela; Hilmer, Sarah N

Source: Aging Health, 1 December 2010, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 705-716(12)


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Achieving safe prescribing in frail older people is difficult owing to age-related physiological changes, multiple comorbidities, multiple medication use and a higher risk of adverse drug events (ADEs). Among people aged 65 years and over, 7–25% are frail. While frailty is recognized as a major public health problem, there is a lack of consensus on the definition of frailty and validated tools that can be used to assess the effects of frailty on pharmacological response in old age. Frail individuals are at higher risk of adverse clinical outcomes, such as hospitalization, falls, disability and mortality. There is also a lack of consensus on the definition of inappropriate medications. Inappropriate medication use is a major contributor to the risk of ADEs in frail older people. Therefore, development and implementation of tools to optimize appropriate use of medications is necessary for the medical care of frail older people.

Keywords: frail older people; frailty tools; inappropriate drug use; outcomes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1Departments of Clinical Pharmacology and Aged Care, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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