An investigation on inappropriate medication applied among elderly patients
Objective: Studies have shown that older people suffer from chronic diseases more than other age groups, resulting in more consumption of drugs. Age-related changes in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs alter drug disposition and response to medications in elderly patients. Recognizing these medications and avoiding their prescription for the elderly prevents the adverse effects and promotes the quality of medical services to them. This study aimed to assess inappropriate drug use in the elderly. Materials and Methods: In this descriptive- analytical study, we recruited 212 elderly patients aged 60 years and above who were admitted and then discharged from four public hospitals, including two teaching and two nonteaching hospitals, affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The Beers Criteria were used as the assessment tool to determine inappropriate medication use in the elderly aged 60 and over. Results: The mean age of the participants was 69.32.The rate of inappropriate drug use was 20.75%. The most common inappropriately used drugs were Alprazolam (16.66%), Chlordiazepoxide (14.28%), Fluoxetine (11.90%) and Oxazepam (11.90%). The most frequently prescribed class of drugs was Benzodiazepines (47.72%). There was a significant relationship between inappropriate drug use and income (p=0.041). Conclusion: Inappropriate drug use was high in the study population in comparison with many other countries. Our findings showed the necessity of developing scientific guidelines for drug use, promoting the criteria for drug prescription and enhancing physicians' knowledge, which can result in careful monitoring of the drug regimens of the elderly. © IDOSI Publications, 2012.