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Ann Rehabil Med  <  Volume 22(3); 2018 <  Articles

Ann Geriatr Med Res 2018; 22(3): 111-116  https://doi.org/10.4235/agmr.2018.22.3.111
The Need for Actions Against Polypharmacy in Older People With Frailty
Taro Kojima
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Correspondence to: Taro Kojima, MD, PhD
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan
Tel: +81-3-5800-8652
Fax: +81-3-5800-6530
E-mail: tkojima-tky@umin.ac.jp
Received: June 3, 2018; Revised: June 24, 2018; Accepted: June 29, 2018; Published online: September 30, 2018.
© The Korea Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Providing safe and effective drug therapy to older patients is challenging for physicians since there is not sufficient evidence to support the efficacy of these drugs and this population is susceptible to adverse drug reactions. Special consideration is needed when treating patients who require nursing care or who are at a stage prior to disability (i.e., frailty) because they may have limited life expectancies, complications, or organ dysfunction. Polypharmacy refers to the condition in which a patient is taking many drugs and, thus, is at an increased risk of adverse events. Although it is difficult to avoid polypharmacy in older people with frailty, the periodic review of drugs and reduction of dose or discontinuation of potentially inappropriate medications are needed to address this problem. This article reviews the association between frailty and polypharmacy and counteractions against polypharmacy in patients with frailty.
Keywords: Polypharmacy, Drug therapy, Frailty, Potentially inappropriate medications

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