[Increased consumption of drugs among the elderly results in greater risk of problems].Lakartidningen 2001; 98(14):1674-9L
With aging comes an increasing prevalence of diseases and symptoms that frequently require pharmaceutical treatment. However, aging also brings about bodily changes that result in increased effects and prolonged action of many drugs. Multiple drug use--often termed polypharmacy--seen in many elderly individuals, is the most important risk factor for adverse drug reactions (ADR) and increases the risk of drug interactions and poor compliance. ADR's are responsible for about 10% of all hospital admissions of elderly patients. The drugs most commonly involved are cardiovascular, psychotropics and anti-inflammatory agents. Many of these ADR's are dose-dependent and preventable. Drug use has increased over the last few years, largely thanks to the availability of new and effective agents. This calls for increased vigilance and prudence in prescribing for the elderly.