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Drug Burden Index in older adults: theoretical and practical issues

Authors Kouladjian L, Gnjidic D, Chen T, Mangoni A, Hilmer S

Received 22 April 2014

Accepted for publication 5 June 2014

Published 9 September 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 1503—1515


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Video abstract presented by Lisa Kouladjian.

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Lisa Kouladjian,1 Danijela Gnjidic,1,2 Timothy F Chen,2 Arduino A Mangoni,3 Sarah N Hilmer1

1Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Kolling Institute of Medical Research and Departments of Clinical Pharmacology and Aged Care, Royal North Shore Hospital, 2Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 3Department of Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA, Australia

Abstract: Anticholinergic and sedative medications are commonly used in older adults and are associated with adverse clinical outcomes. The Drug Burden Index was developed to measure the cumulative exposure to these medications in older adults and its impact on physical and cognitive function. This narrative review discusses the research and clinical applications of the Drug Burden Index, and its advantages and limitations, compared with other pharmacologically developed measures of high-risk prescribing.

Keywords: Drug Burden Index, anticholinergics, sedative medications, high-risk prescribing, older adults, pharmacological risk assessment tools, deprescribing

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