Drug prescription appropriateness in the elderly: An Italian study

Nicola Allegri, Federica Rossi, Federica Del Signore, Paolo Bertazzoni, Roberto Bellazzi, Giorgio Sandrini, Tomaso Vecchi, Davide Liccione, Alessia Pascale, Stefano Govoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Correct drug prescription in the elderly is a difficult task that requires careful survey of the current pharmacological therapies. In this article, we reviewed the drug prescriptions provided to 860 persons aged 65 years or over, residing in a small city of Lombardy, Italy. Methods: Subjects were recruited from a local nursing home, the Pavia and Vigevano Neu­ropsychological Center for Alzheimer’s Disease, general practitioners’ offices, and the local University of the Third Age. For each patient, the amount of potentially inappropriate pre­scriptions (PIPs), sedative and anticholinergic load (SL and AL, respectively), and drug–drug interactions were evaluated. Results: Widespread polypharmacy, giving rise to 10.06% of PIPs in the whole collection of prescriptions, was observed. In particular, PIPs mainly concern drugs acting at the central nervous system level, mostly benzodiazepines and antipsychotics. Moreover, approximately one-fourth of the subjects had an elevated SL and approximately one-tenth a high AL. Drug–drug interactions were frequent (266 requiring medical attention), up to five for each single patient. Of concern was the underuse of antidementia drugs: only 20 patients received a cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine, although 183 patients were potentially suitable for this treatment. Conclusion: These results demonstrate the need to develop novel strategies aimed at improv­ing the quality of drug prescription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Interventions in Aging
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 10 2017

Fingerprint

Drug Prescriptions
Inappropriate Prescribing
Memantine
Polypharmacy
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Cholinergic Antagonists
Nursing Homes
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Benzodiazepines
Pharmaceutical Preparations
General Practitioners
Italy
Antipsychotic Agents
Prescriptions
Alzheimer Disease
Central Nervous System
Pharmacology
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Beers criteria
  • Drug prescription
  • Drug–drug interactions
  • Elderly
  • Sedative load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Allegri, N., Rossi, F., Del Signore, F., Bertazzoni, P., Bellazzi, R., Sandrini, G., ... Govoni, S. (2017). Drug prescription appropriateness in the elderly: An Italian study. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 12, 325-333. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S109125

Drug prescription appropriateness in the elderly : An Italian study. / Allegri, Nicola; Rossi, Federica; Del Signore, Federica; Bertazzoni, Paolo; Bellazzi, Roberto; Sandrini, Giorgio; Vecchi, Tomaso; Liccione, Davide; Pascale, Alessia; Govoni, Stefano.

In: Clinical Interventions in Aging, Vol. 12, 10.02.2017, p. 325-333.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Allegri, N, Rossi, F, Del Signore, F, Bertazzoni, P, Bellazzi, R, Sandrini, G, Vecchi, T, Liccione, D, Pascale, A & Govoni, S 2017, 'Drug prescription appropriateness in the elderly: An Italian study', Clinical Interventions in Aging, vol. 12, pp. 325-333. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S109125
Allegri N, Rossi F, Del Signore F, Bertazzoni P, Bellazzi R, Sandrini G et al. Drug prescription appropriateness in the elderly: An Italian study. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2017 Feb 10;12:325-333. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S109125
Allegri, Nicola ; Rossi, Federica ; Del Signore, Federica ; Bertazzoni, Paolo ; Bellazzi, Roberto ; Sandrini, Giorgio ; Vecchi, Tomaso ; Liccione, Davide ; Pascale, Alessia ; Govoni, Stefano. / Drug prescription appropriateness in the elderly : An Italian study. In: Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2017 ; Vol. 12. pp. 325-333.
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