Pharmaceutical agents are a valuable resource to assist in the care of older persons. Their use in post-acute and long-term care settings is particularly notable—for example, the proportion of nursing home residents taking 9 or more medications increased from 18% in the mid-1990s to 40% less than 15 years later.
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- Pulliam C.C.
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Consult Pharm. 1997; 12: 1401-1408
2Average drug counts are similarly high around the world, although there is considerable variation in use between settings and countries.
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- Rechtsteiner E.A.
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Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2010; 8: 63-67
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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2015; 16: 535.e1-535.e12
4High medication use occurs despite the fact that persons with advanced age and multimorbidity are particularly susceptible to drug adverse effects due to physiological changes such as declines in hepatic and renal clearance. Further, the probability of deleterious drug interactions rises exponentially as the number of medications increases.
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Prescription drug use among older adults in Italy: A country-wide perspective.
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014; 15: 531.e11-531.e15
- Rodrigues M.C.
- Oliveira C.D.
Drug-drug interactions and adverse drug reactions in polypharmacy among older adults: An integrative review.
Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2016; 24: e2800
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Published online: November 27, 2020
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
© 2020 AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.