alexa Rational Drug Use in the Elderly
ISSN: 2167-7182

Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research
Open Access

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Research Article

Rational Drug Use in the Elderly

Gulistan Bahat1*, Fatih Tufan1, Sibel Akin1, Asli Tufan1, Nilgun Erten2 and Mehmet Akif Karan3
1Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Istanbul Medical School, Istanbul University, Capa, 34390, Istanbul, Turkey
2Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Istanbul Medical School, Istanbul University, Capa, 34390, Istanbul, Turkey
3Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Istanbul Medical School, Istanbul University, Capa, 34390, Istanbul, Turkey
Corresponding Author : Gulistan Bahat
Istanbul University, Istanbul Medical School
Department of Internal Medicine, Capa
34390, Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 212 414 20 00-33204
Fax: +90 212 532 42 08
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 05, 2012; Accepted February 08, 2012; Published February 10, 2012
Citation: Bahat G, Tufan F, Akin S, Tufan A, Erten N et al. (2012) Rational Drug Use in the Elderly. J Gerontol Geriatric Res 1:104. doi:10.4172/2167-7182.1000104
Copyright: © 2012 Bahat G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Polypharmacy is a commonly addressed problem in the elderly. It is the use of a minimum of four medicines simultaneously. However, the elderly population suffers not only from the overuse of the medicines but also from the underuse. Furthermore, not uncommonly, use of a minimum of four medicines designated as polypharmacy, may be rational in many clinical circumstances in the elderly. In this article, we review the principles of rational drug use in the elderly. The main aim of the geriatric management increasing the quality of life should also be the purpose of the drug therapy. The physiological changes that occur by aging should be taken into account. The patient or caregiver should be informed on the drug list, instruction on use, possible side effects and indication of the current regimen. The drugs taken by the patient should be checked against the recommended regimen. The regimen should be reviewed for indication, appropriateness and possible switch to a safer or cheaper agent, minimum effective dosage, timing, effectiveness, side effects and toxicity, and potential drug-drug interaction one by one. This checking should be performed in a periodical manner and also in any acute deterioration. The potentially useful drugs should not be underused. This approach may decrease both the overuse and underuse of medicines resulting in the rational drug use of the vulnerable elderly.

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