Prescribing leading to polypharmacy in the elderly

Although the focus for many people is to prevent illness and stay as healthy and independent as possible, as we age, the more likely we will be diagnosed with various diseases states or conditions. As a result, the elderly are prescribed more medications that have the potential to cause harm through drug interactions and not just with other medications as well.

Two studies published in the July 14, 2007  issue of The Lancet noted the many holes in the logic used for drug prescribing for elderly patients and cited inadequate physician training in geriatric pharmacotherapy.

  • Anne Spinewine, researcher at Centre for Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium

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