Polypharmacy and the geriatric patient

Clin Geriatr Med. 2007 May;23(2):371-90, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2007.01.002.


The older adult population is increasing and with it, the risk of polypharmacy. Multiple physicians treating one patient, increasing comorbidities, and an increase in the variety of drugs available contribute to the adverse effects of polypharmacy on the elderly patient. Application of Beers criteria, appropriate therapeutic drug monitoring, and careful, periodic review of the patient's medication list will assist with preventing the sometimes lethal complications of polypharmacy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects
  • Long QT Syndrome / chemically induced
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Warfarin / adverse effects


  • Anticoagulants
  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Warfarin