Current evidence on the impact of medication optimization or pharmacological interventions on frailty or aspects of frailty: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Farhad Pazan, Mirko Petrovic, Antonio Cherubini, Graziano Onder, Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft, Michael Denkinger, Tischa J.M. van der Cammen, Jennifer M. Stevenson, Kinda Ibrahim, Chakravarthi Rajkumar, Marit Stordal Bakken, Jean Pierre Baeyens, Peter Crome, Thomas Frühwald, Paul Gallaghar, Adalsteinn Guðmundsson, Wilma Knol, Denis O’Mahony, Alberto Pilotto, Elina RönnemaaJosé Antonio Serra-Rexach, George Soulis, Rob J. van Marum, Gijsbertus Ziere, Alpana Mair, Heinrich Burkhardt, Agnieszka Neumann-Podczaska, Katarzyna Wieczorowska-Tobis, Marilia Andreia Fernandes, Heidi Gruner, Dhayana Dallmeier, Jean Baptiste Beuscart, Nathalie van der Velde, Martin Wehling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Frailty and adverse drug effects are linked in the fact that polypharmacy is correlated with the severity of frailty; however, a causal relation has not been proven in older people with clinically manifest frailty. Methods: A literature search was performed in Medline to detect prospective randomized controlled trials (RCTs) testing the effects of pharmacological interventions or medication optimization in older frail adults on comprehensive frailty scores or partial aspects of frailty that were published from January 1998 to October 2019. Results: Twenty-five studies were identified, 4 on comprehensive frailty scores and 21 on aspects of frailty. Two trials on comprehensive frailty scores showed positive results on frailty although the contribution of medication review in a multidimensional approach was unclear. In the studies on aspects related to frailty, ten individual drug interventions showed improvement in physical performance, muscle strength or body composition utilizing alfacalcidol, teriparatide, piroxicam, testosterone, recombinant human chorionic gonadotropin, or capromorelin. There were no studies examining negative effects of drugs on frailty. Conclusion: So far, data on a causal relationship between drugs and frailty are inconclusive or related to single-drug interventions on partial aspects of frailty. There is a clear need for RCTs on this topic that should be based on a comprehensive, internationally consistent and thus reproducible concept of frailty assessment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Frailty
  • Inappropriate drug treatment
  • Medication optimization
  • Older people
  • Polypharmacy
  • Prefrailty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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