Review Article

Rules for Improving Pharmacotherapy in Older Adult Patients: Part 2 (Rules 6-10)

Authors: James M. Wooten, PharmD


The population of older adult patients in the United States is growing each year. Appropriate pharmacotherapy has allowed many older patients to live longer and maintain healthy lives. Unfortunately, the inappropriate utilization of medications can be harmful to older adult patients. Inappropriate pharmacotherapy may lead to overusing medications and polypharmacy. Polypharmacy can contribute to a higher incidence of adverse effects, increase the risk of dangerous drug interactions, cause noncompliance with appropriate medication use, and significantly increase the cost of health care. The polypharmacy issue with geriatric patients has been described as an epidemic and this issue must be addressed. This review provides objective rules that may help prevent polypharmacy. Consideration of these rules when prescribing, dispensing, and caring for older adult patients will improve the overall pharmacotherapy regimens instituted by healthcare providers.

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