Author(s): Eckardt R, SteinhagenThiessen E, Kmpfe S, Buchmann N
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Abstract BACKGROUND: When used appropriately, drugs are an effective and efficient intervention in the care of patients. However, elderly, multimorbid patients are especially prone to adverse side effects caused by the simultaneous intake of many drugs--this effect is called polypharmacy. Furthermore, adverse medical effects occur more frequently with elderly people compared to younger patients. This is due to age-specific metabolic changes and issues with compliance and adherence. Therefore, the indication for medication should be taken carefully and individually especially for elderly patients, in order to develop a realistic risk-benefit ratio, taking into consideration questions like quality of life and life expectancy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this paper, the current medical care situation of elderly people is presented; problems are identified and analyzed. RESULTS: Supported by a selected literature search, recommendations for improving medication safety are summarized.
This article was published in Z Gerontol Geriatr
and referenced in Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics