The prevention of adverse drug reactions in older subjects

Antonio Cherubini, Carmelinda Ruggiero, Beatrice Gasperini, Giuseppina Dellaquilal, Maria Grazia Cupido, Elena Zampi, Elisa Zengarini, Hao Nguyen Nguyen, Rocco Serra, Andrea Corsonello, Fabrizia Lattanzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are a public health problem in older subjects, being responsible for a significant morbidity, disability and mortality. Older subjects are more susceptible to develop ADRs mainly due to polypharmacy, multimorbidity and inappropriate prescribing. The prevention of these drug related negative events represents an important aim for physicians treating older patients. Several strategies could potentially be employed, including state of the art education of medical students and physicians concerning principles of geriatric medicine and appropriate prescription in older subjects, reduction of inappropriate drug use by means of computerized decision support systems, pharmacist involvement and comprehensive geriatric assessment, and finally the identification of at risk older patients. However, there is currently a lack of scientific evidence demonstrating that these strategies can achieve a reduction in ADRs and therefore future intervention studies should be performed to evaluate the best intervention to decrease the burden of drug related problems in the older population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-657
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Drug Metabolism
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Adverse drug reaction
  • Comprehensive geriatric assessment
  • Inappropriate prescription
  • Multimorbidity
  • Older subject
  • Polypharmacy
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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