Exposure to potentially inappropriate medicines (PIM) increases significantly in all older people, not just those with dementia, researchers have discovered
Their study assessed the patterns of medicines use one year before, and one year after dementia diagnosis, compared with patterns of medicines use among people without dementia.
One year after a diagnosis of dementia, the number of medicines taken by older people was 11% higher and the risk of PIM use had increased by 17%.
Over time, exposure to PIM increased significantly in individuals both with and without dementia. But PIM exposure was significantly lower for those with dementia compared with individuals without dementia, at all time points.
In the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (online, 19 April 2018), the researchers described the finding as unexpected, but said: “Persistent challenge of increasing PIM use in this group of older adults is of major concern and warrants interventions to minimise such prescribing.”
 Gnjidic D, Agogo G, Ramsey C et al. The impact of dementia diagnosis on patterns of potentially inappropriate medication use among older adults. J Gerontology: Med Sci 2018. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gly078