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South Asian J Cancer. 2019 Apr-Jun;8(2):130-133. doi: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_218_18.

Predictors of adverse drug reactions in geriatric patients: An exploratory study among cancer patients.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



The objective of this study was to study the predictors of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) among geriatric patients in the Department of Medical Oncology.


A hospital-based prospective observational study was carried out among 153 inpatients in the Department of Medical Oncology for 6 months. Patients above 60 years of age with a confirmed history of malignancy were included in the study. The potential risk factors for ADR were defined in relation to the patient and chemotherapeutic regimen and relationship between them was assessed by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.


Among 153 patients, 94 (64.43%) experienced ADRs. The mean ADR per patient was 0.88 ± 1.2. The common ADRs found were alopecia (30.18%) and diarrhea (28.68%). Risk estimates revealed that there was a significant association between smokers (odds ratio [OR] = 10.326; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.345-45.47, P = 0.001), alcoholics (OR = 10.897; 95% CI 2.479-47.902, P = 0.001), increasing age (OR = 2.22; 95% CI 1.698-2.909, P = 0.001), overweight (OR = 16.68; 95% CI 2.179-127.741, P = 0.001), and male participants (OR = 0.143; 95% CI 0.05-0.390 P = 0.001) with the development of ADRs. The risk of carboplatin (OR = 13.359; 95% CI 3.056-58.406 P = 0.001) and 5-fluorouracil (OR = 1.938 95% CI 1.266-2.935 P = 0.001) use and occurrence of ADRs were also found to be high.


The study findings showed that smoking, alcohol consumption, age more than 70 years, and overweight had a high risk for developing ADRs in geriatric patients who underwent chemotherapy. The independent risk factors identified should be targeted for preventive measures to improve anticancer agent prescription and reduce the risk of ADRs.


Adverse drug reactions; cancer; chemotherapy; geriatrics; predictors

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