Increase in potentially inappropriate medicines use seen in all older adults, study results suggest

After assessing patterns of medicines use in patients with and without dementia, researchers found that the risk of potentially inappropriate medicines use significantly increased in all groups

Close up of a multicompartment compliance aid

Exposure to potentially inappropriate medicines (PIM) increases significantly in all older people, not just those with dementia, researchers have discovered[1]

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.”


[1] 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

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, June 2018, Vol 10, No 6;10(6):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20204837

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