Polypharmacy and physiological changes inherent to the aging process can cause significant modifications in the pharmacokinetic and dynamic regimens of drugs, making the elderly more susceptible to adverse drug effects. Adverse drug reactions (ADR) in older adults have a significant impact on hospital admissions, increasing hospital stay and healthcare costs. Most common ADR in this population are dose-related and predictable. However, they can be difficult to diagnose as they often have nonspecific symptoms. This could be minimized by decreasing the use and prescription of potentially inappropriate medication and being aware of possible drug interactions. Besides, being older patients underrepresented in clinical trials and due to their physiological modifications, serious or atypical ADR are more common in this age range. To minimize harm in older adults, effective pharmacovigilance must be encouraged.
Part of the book: New Insights into the Future of Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety