Common Drug Side Effects and Drug-Drug Interactions in Elderly Adults in Primary Care

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Jul;65(7):1578-1585. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14870. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Prescribing medications, recognizing and managing medication side effects and drug interactions, and avoiding polypharmacy are all essential skills in the care of older adults in primary care. Important side effects of medications commonly prescribed in older adults (statins, proton pump inhibitors, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and fluoroquinolone antibiotics, zolpidem, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors) were reviewed. Important drug interactions with four agents or classes (statins, warfarin, factor Xa inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers) are discussed.

Keywords: drug-drug interactions; medication use; polypharmacy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Humans
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards
  • Prescription Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*


  • Prescription Drugs