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Medications affecting functional status in older persons.

Authors
  • Corsonello, Andrea
  • Onder, Graziano
  • Maggio, Marcello
  • Corica, Francesco
  • Lattanzio, Fabrizia
Type
Published Article
Journal
Current Pharmaceutical Design
Publisher
Bentham Science
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Volume
20
Issue
19
Pages
3256–3263
Identifiers
PMID: 24050161
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Current evidence suggests that functional status is an important outcome of pharmacologic treatments in older people. At the moment, studies have shown diverse effects of medications on functional status. For example, some have shown potentially detrimental effects, while others have found improvements on physical function in elders. Overall, suboptimal prescribing and the occurrence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) may negatively affect functional status. The use of selected drugs acting on central nervous system (CNS), e.g. benzodiazepines and antipsychotics, is generally associated with an increased risk of functional decline. The greater sensitivity of older people to these drugs, together with age-related changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, account for the observed detrimental effect and suggests a cautious approach to older and frail patients when prescribing CNS agents. On the other hand, selected drugs may slow or delay functional decline in older people. In particular, drugs aimed at targeting sarcopenia (loss in muscle mass and strength), such as testosterone in androgen deficiency, ACE-inhibitors, vitamin D and β-hydroxy β-methyl butyrate (HMB), as well as the recently developed selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) may hold extreme importance. This review will provide available evidence of the diverse impacts of drug medications on functional status in older persons.

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