Koren, Nordon, Radinsky, Shalev (2019) Clinical pharmacology of old age Expert review of clinical pharmacology 12(8) 749-755


Introduction: With the majority of elderly persons consuming multiple drugs, inappropriate drug use is a major issue in geriatric medicine. Areas covered: We reviewed PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane from inception to 1 May 2019 for potentially inappropriate use of medications, polypharmacy, and age-dependent changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. We selected to highlight new aspects that have emerged in recent years: appropriate monitoring of drug adherence and the introduction of Big Data analysis in advancing geriatric pharmacology. Expert opinion: There are major gaps in the pharmacological treatment of the elderly. Most drugs were designed and tested in adults, with no pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data on changes in old age. This void must be corrected through systematic and well-designed research programs. Potentially inappropriate use of medications (PIM) in the elderly is a serious issue in advanced age. Analysis of PIM shows relatively low predictive value in real life medicine. Most physicians continue to prescribe to the elderly medicines which should not be given at all, or not combined. Polypharmacy is a complex issue in old age, and in many cases treating physicians are not conducting critical assessment of the need for numerous medications.