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Pharmacological Interactions in the Elderly

Authors
  • Błeszyńska, Emilia
  • Wierucki, Łukasz1
  • Zdrojewski, Tomasz1
  • Renke, Marcin
  • 1 (T.Z.)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medicina
Publisher
MDPI
Publication Date
Jun 28, 2020
Volume
56
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/medicina56070320
PMID: 32605319
PMCID: PMC7404696
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Pharmacological therapy in the elderly is particularly complicated and challenging. Due to coexistence of three main predisposing factors (advanced age, multiple morbidity and polypharmacotherapy), this group of patients is prone to occurrence of drug interactions and adverse effects of incorrect drug combinations. Since many years patient safety during the treatment process has been one of key elements for proper functioning of healthcare systems around the world, thus different preventive measures have been undertaken in order to counteract factors adversely affecting the therapeutic effect. One of the avoidable medical errors is pharmacological interactions. According to estimates, one in six elderly patients may be at risk of a significant drug interaction. Hence the knowledge about mechanisms and causes of drug interactions in the elderly, as well as consequences of their occurrence are crucial for planning the process of pharmacotherapy. For the purpose of pharmacovigilance, a review of available methods and tools gives an insight into possible ways of preventing drug interactions. Additionally, recognizing the actual scale of this phenomenon in geriatric population around the world emphasizes the importance of a joint effort among medical community to improve quality of pharmacotherapy.

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