Inappropriate prescribing can lead to adverse outcomes

In older adults, inappropriate prescribing in primary care is associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes, but not mortality. An analysis of existing studies looked at potentially inappropriate prescribing–the prescribing or underprescribing of medications in older persons that could cause significant harm. The analysis found that, although potentially inappropriate prescribing did not affect mortality, it was significantly associated with emergency room visits, adverse drug events, functional decline, health-related quality of life, and hospitalizations. According to the authors, the findings highlight the need to address potentially inappropriate prescribing in primary care. They call for further research into effective interventions, and they call on researchers to consider the potential implications of how potentially inappropriate prescribing is operationalized in their work.

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Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing Among Older Persons: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Tau Ming Liew, MBBS, MRCPsych, MCI, et al

Institute of Mental Health, Singapore

http://www.annfammed.org/content/17/3/257

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