Original Articles: PDF OnlyAVOIDING OVERMEDICATION OF ELDERLY PATIENTSRuiz, Jorge G.1; Array, Samir2; Lowenthal, David T.3,*Author Information 1East Tennessee University School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mountain Home, TN. 2Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and University of Florida Department of Medicine, Gainesville, FL. 3Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology and Exercise Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. *Address for correspondence: Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (182), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 1601 S.W. Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32608–1197, USA. American Journal of Therapeutics: November 1996 - Volume 3 - Issue 11 - p 784-788 Buy Abstract Overmedication is the use of drugs that are not clinically indicated and are given in an inappropriate or overly aggressive manner even when nonpharmacologic alternatives are more suitable. This is an extension of polypharmacy and is caused when age-related changes in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and potential drug interactions are ignored, when inappropriate drugs are used, or when a drug is prescribed for the wrong diagnosis in elderly individuals. Overmedication can cause adverse drug reactions, increased drug costs, and noncompliance with therapeutic regimens. This phenomenon can occur in the acute care or long-term care setting, and the community-dwelling elderly can also be exposed through the use of prescription and nonprescription drugs. Strategies to prevent overmedication in the elderly are discussed. © Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.