Medications and nutrition in the elderly

Prim Care. 1994 Mar;21(1):135-47.


Single drug and drug combinations taken by elderly individuals may impose nutritional risk. Nutritional risk induced by drug intake include anorexia, excessive increase in appetite, drug-induced nutritional deficiencies, and toxic reactions. Drug side effects, such as postural hypotension, may interfere with food shopping or cooking ability. Prescribed diets may also impose a risk of drug-induced side effects or diminished drug efficacy. Unwanted outcomes of drug-food and drug-nutrient interactions can be minimized by instructing elderly men and women and their caregivers to avoid timing errors in drug-taking behavior and toxic reactions due to food incompatibility. In addition, drug-induced nutritional deficiencies can be avoided by advising drug-taking elderly on the appropriate levels of nutrient intake.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption / drug effects
  • Aged
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Food*
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutritional Status / drug effects*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations