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Cad Saude Publica. 2002 Nov-Dec;18(6):1499-507.

[A literature review on pharmacists' interventions in the use of medication by elderly patients].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Prática de Saúde Pública, Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP 01246-904, Brasil.


The total proportional geriatric population in Brazil is projected to increase from 9.05% in 1999 to approximately 13% in 2020. Non-communicable diseases are common in this age group, and medication is used frequently. Inadequate prescription and improper use of drugs can produce undesirable outcomes, leading to avoidable hospitalization and increasing health care costs. The objective of this paper was to conduct a literature review of pharmacists' interventions and their influence on use of medication by elderly patients, based on five databases from 1970 to 1999. The sample consisted of 76 studies, of which 15 were analyzed and discussed. Research on this subject is scarce, and limited to developed countries. In general, the interventions presented favorable outcomes. Most actions were limited to counseling patients and their physicians, and there was a lack of interventions to adjust the medication to the user.

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