Polypharmacy, adverse drug reactions, and geriatric syndromes

Clin Geriatr Med. 2012 May;28(2):173-86. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2012.01.002.


The elderly are at risk for polypharmacy, which is associated with significant consequences such as adverse effects, medication nonadherence, drug-drug and drug-disease interactions, and increased risk of geriatric syndromes. Providers should evaluate all existing medications at each patient visit for appropriateness and weigh the risks and benefits of starting new medications to minimize polypharmacy.

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / drug effects
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Geriatrics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors