The effect of admission to a geriatric ward on medication use: 2002 versus 1985†

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To investigate the changes in pharmacotherapy of patients during and after admission to a geriatric ward in 2002 and to investigate if this goes along with reduction of drugs. To describe the differences of the admitted patients and their medication in 2002 compared to 1985.


Included patients were admitted to the geriatric ward of a general hospital in the Netherlands during 2002 (n = 258, mean age 84.2 years). Medication at admission, during admission and at discharge were described after retrospective reviewing of medical charts. A comparable study was performed at the same ward in 1985.


In 2002, most frequently used medication at admission was acetylsalicylic acid (30.2%). Pantoprazole was during admission used in 38.8% of patients and at discharge in 31.8%. Folic acid that was at admission used by 11.6% of patients was at discharge increased to 23.4%. At discharge, vitamin D was used in 21.5% of patients, whereas lisinopril was used in 17.8% of patients. Both in 1985 and 2002 vitamins were added and use of antibiotics was increased during admission. A mean addition of 1.0 drug in 1985 and of 0.7 drugs in 2002 was observed.


Geriatric hospital admission resulted both in 1985 and 2002 in addition of medication. In both periods reductions in medication were nullified by addition of medication for reason of therapy optimisation. Compared to 1985 admitted patients receive more medication resulting from new insights into pharmacotherapy and more use of preventive medicine. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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