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Frailty and Drug Therapy

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Optimizing Pharmacotherapy in Older Patients

Part of the book series: Practical Issues in Geriatrics ((PIG))

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Abstract

Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome characterized by decreased individual reserve and increased vulnerability, which predisposes affected older persons to adverse health outcomes. It serves as a proxy measure of biological age. Evidence detailing the specifics of pharmacotherapy in frail older individuals has been limited. Frailty may modify the effects of drug treatment in older adults and may increase the frequency and intensity of side effects, yet frail older individuals have rarely been included in randomized clinical drug trials and pharmacokinetic studies. Identifying frailty in routine healthcare databases can provide relevant data on the benefits and risks of drug therapy in this population. Research on drug therapy in frail older adults is complicated by a lack of consensus on the best instrument to assess frailty. Frailty is associated with polypharmacy, and adverse drug reactions may contribute to the development and degree of this geriatric syndrome. Deprescribing potentially inappropriate medications may prove beneficial in frail patients. Their particular vulnerability makes careful and patient-centered medication management in frail older adults mandatory.

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Eidam, A., Cesari, M., Bauer, J.M. (2023). Frailty and Drug Therapy. In: Cherubini, A., Mangoni, A.A., O’Mahony, D., Petrovic, M. (eds) Optimizing Pharmacotherapy in Older Patients. Practical Issues in Geriatrics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-28061-0_12

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