Association of adverse drug reactions with drug-drug and drug-disease interactions in frail older outpatients

Department of Medicine (Geriatrics), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
Age and Ageing (Impact Factor: 3.64). 03/2011; 40(2):274-7. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afq158
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Available from: Carl Pieper, May 01, 2015
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    • "The Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults identifies, grades and qualifies potentially inappropriate medications. The criteria were developed by a panel of geriatric pharmacy experts who applied a modified Delphi method to a systematic review of all medications and graded the evidence to reach a consensus on a recommended list of drugs to avoid in older people [5-7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Currently, far too many older adults consume inappropriate prescriptions, which increase the risk of adverse drug reactions and unnecessary hospitalizations. A health education program directly informing patients of prescription risks may promote inappropriate prescription discontinuation in chronic benzodiazepine users. Methods/design: This is a cluster randomized controlled trial using a two-arm parallel-design. A total of 250 older chronic benzodiazepine users recruited from community pharmacies in the greater Montreal area will be studied with informed consent. A participating pharmacy with recruited participants represents a cluster, the unit of randomization. For every four pharmacies recruited, a simple 2:2 randomization is used to allocate clusters into intervention and control arms. Participants will be followed for 1 year. Within the intervention clusters, participants will receive a novel educational intervention detailing risks and safe alternatives to their current potentially inappropriate medication, while the control group will be wait-listed for the intervention for 6 months and receive usual care during that time period. The primary outcome is the rate of change in benzodiazepine use at 6 months. Secondary outcomes are changes in risk perception, self-efficacy for discontinuing benzodiazepines, and activation of patients initiating discussions with their physician or pharmacist about safer prescribing practices. An intention-to-treat analysis will be followed.The rate of change of benzodiazepine use will be compared between intervention and control groups at the individual level at the 6-month follow-up. Risk differences between the control and experimental groups will be calculated, and the robust variance estimator will be used to estimate the associated 95% confidence interval (CI). As a sensitivity analysis (and/or if any confounders are unbalanced between the groups), we will estimate the risk difference for the intervention via a marginal model estimated via generalized estimating equations with an exchangeable correlation structure. Discussion: Targeting consumers directly as catalysts for engaging physicians and pharmacists in collaborative discontinuation of benzodiazepine drugs is a novel approach to reduce inappropriate prescriptions. By directly empowering chronic users with knowledge about risks, we hope to imitate the success of individually targeted anti-smoking campaigns. Trial registration: identifier: NCT01148186.
    Trials 03/2013; 14(1):80. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-14-80 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacotherapy of the elderly is very complex due to age-related physiologic changes, multiple comorbidities, multiple medications (prescription, over-the counter, and herbal), and multiple providers (prescribers and pharmacies). Age-related physiologic changes and disease-related changes in organ function affect drug handling (pharmacokinetics) and response (pharmacodynamics). In addition, patients' cognitive impairment, functional difficulties, as well as caregiver issues play a large role in errors and compliance. Many older adults have several chronic conditions, and they stand to benefit the most from best practice guidelines. However, they are also at risk of toxicity given our increasingly complex pharmacopoeia and potential adverse effects that can cause morbidity and mortality. It is imperative that physicians learn how to minimize side effects and interactions. Potentially inappropriate medications (medications that pose more risk than benefit to the patient) are among the most important causes of adverse drug reactions, independent of the number of medications and other confounding factors. Many of these adverse drug reactions could be predicted from the known pharmacology of the drug and therefore could be potentially avoidable. To prescribe appropriately, we need to consider not only the pharmacological properties of the drugs, but also clinical, epidemiological, social, cultural, and economic factors. Elders' adherence to prescribed medications is also complex and depends on medical, personal, and economic factors; cognitive status; and relationship with the physician. Detection of nonadherence is a necessary prerequisite for adequate treatment, and patient education is a cornerstone in achieving medication adherence. Finally, appropriate prescribing should include a consideration of life expectancy and goals of care.
    Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine 07/2011; 78(4):613-26. DOI:10.1002/msj.20278 · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Functional status is the cornerstone of geriatric care and serves as an indicator of general well-being. A decline in function can increase health care use, worsen quality of life, threaten independence, and increase the risk of mortality. One of several risk factors for decline in functional status is medication use. Our aim was to critically review published articles that have examined the relationship between medication use and functional status decline in the elderly. The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for English-language articles published from January 1986 to June 2011. Search terms included aged, humans, drug utilization, polypharmacy, inappropriate prescribing, anticholinergics, psychotropics, antihypertensives, drug burden index, functional status, function change or decline, activities of daily living, gait, mobility limitation, and disability. A manual search of the reference lists of the identified articles and the authors' article files, book chapters, and recent reviews was conducted to retrieve additional publications. Only articles that used rigorous observational or interventional designs were included. Cross-sectional studies and case series were excluded from this review. Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Five studies addressed the impact of suboptimal prescribing on function, 3 of which found an increased risk of worse function in community-dwelling subjects receiving polypharmacy. Three of the 4 studies that assessed benzodiazepine use and functional status decline found a statistically significant association. One cohort study identified no relationship between antidepressant use and functional status, whereas a randomized trial found that amitriptyline, but not desipramine or paroxetine, impaired certain measures of gait. Two studies found that increasing anticholinergic burden was associated with worse functional status. In a study of hospitalized rehabilitation patients, users of hypnotics/anxiolytics (eg, phenobarbital, zolpidem) had lower relative Functional Independence Measure motor gains than nonusers. Use of multiple central nervous system (CNS) drugs (using different definitions) was linked to greater declines in self-reported mobility and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scores in 2 community-based studies. Another study of nursing home patients did not report a significant decrease in SPPB scores in those taking multiple CNS drugs. Finally, 2 studies found mixed effects between antihypertensive use and functional status in the elderly. Benzodiazepines and anticholinergics have been consistently associated with impairments in functional status in the elderly. The relationships between suboptimal prescribing, antidepressants, and antihypertensives and functional status decline were mixed. Further research using established measures and methods is needed to better describe the impact of medication use on functional status in older adults.
    11/2011; 9(6):378-91. DOI:10.1016/j.amjopharm.2011.10.002
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