Medication-Related Problems in Older Adults and the Importance of Comprehensive Medication

Research Publications | 2 Minute Read

Shabnam Shojaat, Chandni Bardolia, Jacques Turgeon, and Nishita Shah Amin

Abstract

Objective: Older adults are at greater risk for medications-related problems due to age-related changes in drug disposition. Therefore, it is important to properly identify and mitigate the use of inappropriate medication(s) in this population. The purpose of this case is to demonstrate the importance of identifying and evaluating the medication-related problems in older adults via pharmacist-led comprehensive medication reviews.

Case: A 69-year old female patient with a past medical history of hypertension, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, and hyperlipidemia has reported to her medical team with chief complaints of increased blurry vision, yellow-brown deposits within her eyes, and gradual hair loss over the last two to three months. The clinical pharmacist conducted a comprehensive medication review and noted that these symptoms were likely adverse drug reactions caused by amiodarone, and recommended discontinuation of the amiodarone in an effort to mitigate toxicities. One month later, the pharmacist followed-up with the care team, and was notified that the patient noticed improvement in her vision and continues to deny symptoms related to atrial fibrillation. The pharmacist recommended continuation of close monitoring of the patient for the next few months.

Conclusion: This case sheds light onto the importance of pharmacist-led comprehensive medication reviews to identify medication-related problems in older adults. Careful prescribing and continuous reviews of medication regimens can help to mitigate and prevent medication-related problems such as adverse drug effects and drug-drug interactions.

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