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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2005 Sep;60(3):306-10.

Concomitant use of analgesics and psychotropics in home-dwelling elderly people-Kuopio 75 + study.

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Division of Geriatrics, Department of Public Health and General Practice, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.



To investigate the extent of concomitant use of analgesic and psychotropic medicines among home-dwelling elderly people aged at least 75 years in Finland.


This was a population-based study in Finland, performed as part of Kuopio 75 + study focusing on the clinical epidemiology of diseases, medication and functional capacity. A random sample of 700 persons was drawn from the total population of the city of Kuopio, eastern Finland, aged 75 years on January 1, 1998 (n = 4518). Ninety-nine persons could not be examined and 78 were living in long-term institutions, so that the number of home-dwelling elderly persons amounted to 523. A trained nurse interviewed the participants about their use of medicines, and a geriatrician examined their overall physical and mental status. Dementia and depression were diagnosed according to the DSM IV criteria. Both regular and irregular prescribed and nonprescribed drug use was recorded.


Every fourth elderly person (27.2%) used analgesics and psychotropics concomitantly, this use becoming twice as common with advancing age (19.6% in the age group 75-79 years, 38.2% among the oldest, aged 85 + years). Concomitant use of psychotropics and opioids also became more common with increasing age (2.8% in age group 75-79 years and 9.6% in the oldest group, aged 85 + years). The use of opioids was nearly twice as common among concomitant users (19.7%) than among those using only analgesics (11.3%). Concomitant users suffered from interfering daily pain and daily pain at rest more commonly than nonusers of analgesics. Depression, sleeping problems and polypharmacy were more common among the concomitant users, who had also had more hip fractures than the rest.


Concomitant use of analgesics and psychotropics becomes more common with advancing age and is a potential risk factor for adverse drug effects.

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