Prescribing for the elderly. Part I: Sensitivity of the elderly to adverse drug reactions.
This study reviewed existing evidence in order to evaluate the relationship between chronological age and adverse drug reactions. The authors provide a narrative summary and tables to illustrate trends noted in the more robust inpatient literature and the somewhat scarce outpatient literature for this relationship. Factors thought to contribute to adverse drug events are discussed, including multiple drug therapy, the presence of multiple disorders, severity of disease, and altered pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. The findings suggest that elderly patients are not likely to experience an adverse reaction simply because of their age. Future studies must account for the factors more likely to impact poor outcomes with drug therapy.