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Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2007 May;6(3):229-31.

Drugs in the elderly--more good than harm?


Drug treatment should be as effective and as safe as possible. With the changing demographic structure of society, and in recognition of the fact that most medicines are consumed by elderly people, some aspects of appropriateness of drug treatment of the elderly merit detailed consideration: i) are drugs really more toxic once ageing and polypharmacy are taken into account; ii) can treatment options for elderly people be extrapolated from the evidence base that informs the approach used for younger patients; iii) will polypharmacy inevitably increase with an evidence-based approach to drug therapy in elderly people, and does that matter; iv) is there professional therapeutic bias or nihilism regarding elderly people in general, and if there is, how important a factor is cost; and v) what really matters to elderly patients themselves regarding their medicines?

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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