Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Fam Physician. 2002 Nov 15;66(10):1917-24.

Using medications appropriately in older adults.

Author information

  • 1Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, USA. cwilliams@usuhs.mil

Abstract

Older Americans comprise 13 percent of the population, but they consume an average of 30 percent of all prescription drugs. Every day, physicians are faced with issues surrounding appropriate prescribing to older patients. Polypharmacy, use of supplements, adherence issues, and the potential for adverse drug events all pose challenges to effective prescribing. Knowledge of the interplay between aging physiology, chronic diseases, and drugs will help the physician avoid potential adverse drug events as well as drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. Evidence is now available showing that older patients may be underprescribed useful drugs, including aspirin for secondary prevention in high-risk patients, beta blockers following myocardial infarction, and warfarin for nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. There is also evidence that many older adults receive medications that could potentially cause more harm than good. Finding the right balance between too few and too many drugs will help ensure increased longevity, improved overall health, and enhanced functioning and quality of life for the aging population.

PMID:
12469968
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Academy of Family Physicians
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk