The role of medications in geriatric failure to thrive

Drugs Aging. 1996 Oct;9(4):221-5. doi: 10.2165/00002512-199609040-00001.


Geriatric failure to thrive (GFTT) is a syndrome associated with functional decline, depression and malnutrition. Adverse drug reactions are cited as one of the most common causes of GFTT. Two distinct drug-related issues should be considered. Firstly, failure to provide appropriate treatment for conditions such as anaemia, depression, nutritional deficiencies and pain may precipitate GFTT. Secondly, drug-induced functional decline and decreased nutrient intake may cause or contribute to the syndrome. Pharmacological intervention may include discontinuing potentially offending agents for a trial period, or drug treatment of anorexia and depression.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depression / complications
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Failure to Thrive / chemically induced*
  • Failure to Thrive / diagnosis
  • Failure to Thrive / therapy
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications