The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which “potentially inappropriate drugs” (PID) are associated with an increased risk for adverse drug reactions (ADR).
Data from 304 geriatric psychiatric inpatients was collected. Medical documentation was used to find indications of ADRs. Causal relationship between the ADR and the prescribed drugs was assessed by experts.
Almost 30 % of patients received ≥ 1 PID before admission to hospital, in comparison to 22 % at discharge. Increasing number of total prescriptions and the diagnosis of schizophrenia resulted in an increased risk for receiving ≥ 1 PID. Higher age and dementia were protective factors. Patients receiving ≥ 1 PID had a 5-fold increased risk of experiencing ≥ 1 ADR. Risk for an ADR increased with number of PID prescriptions. Patients treated with ≥ 1 PID had a 4-fold increased risk of experiencing severe ADRs. Risk for severe ADRs was 10-fold higher in patients treated with ≥ 2 PIDs.
The PRISCUS list predicts significant risk factors for the occurrence of ADRs in the geriatric psychiatric setting.

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