Medication Use and Polypharmacy in Older Adults

  • Marty L. EngEmail author
  • James T. BirchJr.


Urinary system problems related to voiding are very common in older adults. Urinary incontinence is the most common complaint and most troublesome to manage in the older adult. Identifying the type of incontinence is the first step to approaching treatment or management. The symptom of urinary frequency is also problematic particularly when the older adult has limitations in mobility or cognitive deficits. These issues and concerns are often precipitated or exacerbated by common medications that are prescribed by physicians. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes that occur with aging, describe the impact of polypharmacy on bladder dysfunction, define the prescribing cascade and its impact on urinary symptoms, and identify the therapeutic classes of medications that can be the most problematic for bladder and voiding problems in the older adult.


Urinary Incontinence Urinary Retention Stress Incontinence Urge Incontinence Urinary Frequency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy PracticeSchool of Pharmacy, Cedarville UniversityCedarvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Kansas HospitalKansas CityUSA

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