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Prim Care. 2005 Sep;32(3):755-75.

Approaches to appropriate drug prescribing for the older adult.

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  • 1St. Ann's Community, 1600 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621, USA.


When prescribing for the older adult, the office-based physician walks the fine line between introducing the drugs that are considered best practices for each disease that the person has and acknowledging that as the number of drugs increases, the risks of adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interactions, or drug-disease interactions increase considerably. Establishing the clinician-patient partnership to develop goals of care is the first step in the process. Avoiding drugs that are likely to be associated with adverse outcomes (the Beers Criteria list) is an important next step, as is awareness of the prescribing cascade. It is also important, however, to not be overly pessimistic. Quality of care and quality of life may be greatly enhanced by careful use of prescription and over-the-counter medications in the older adult.

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