Frail twice as likely to have inappropriate prescription

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Wednesday, 11 October, 2017

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Frail people are twice as likely to have at least one inappropriate medicine prescribed — an alarming statistic given that these patients are also more likely to experience an adverse reaction because of their other medicines.

A new article in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber highlights the risks and complexities clinicians face when prescribing medicines for frail older people.

Recent evidence suggests that an increased number of medicines can result in some patients becoming more frail. In a study of men who were initially defined as robust, each additional drug was associated with a 22% greater risk of death.

The authors of the article explain that due to frail older people’s increased susceptibility to adverse reactions, coupled with the lack of guidelines to inform clinicians about appropriate prescribing for these patients, constant vigilance and review are essential.

The article outlines the ways in which frailty status should be considered when applying the six steps in the World Health Organization’s Guide to Good Prescribing.

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