Older people in Finland commonly use medicines to be avoided
According to a recent study published in an international publication series, older people in Finland aged 75 or over commonly use medicines that are to be avoided. The study compared the list of medicines to be avoided produced by Fimea for the Meds75+ database to eight international published criteria.
The risk of adverse reactions for medicines to be avoided typically exceeds the clinical benefit derived from them. Several criteria for medicines to be avoided have been published internationally, to promote rational pharmacotherapy and improve medication safety for older people. The application of national criteria to other countries is hampered by country-specific differences in the range of medicines available and the local prescription practices. The Lääke75+ database maintained by Fimea takes into account the Finnish pharmaceutical market and treatment practices. The database uses the consensus method to classify the suitability of the most commonly used medicines for those aged 75 or over. The database contains approximately 90 Class D medicines classified as to be avoided.
The published study examined how common the use of medicines to be avoided by older people in Finland is according to different criteria. The prevalence of the use of medicines to be avoided by Finns aged 75 or over varied (11–57%) depending on the criterion used. According to the results, one in three Finnish people aged 75 or over procure at least one medicine that is listed in the Meds75+ database with a recommendation that its use should be avoided, each year. Of the medicines to be avoided listed in the Meds75+ database, those that were the most commonly used by older people in Finland included codeine, tramadol and nitrofurantoin. The prevalence of the use of medicines to be avoided decreased in 2017–2019, regardless of the criteria used for the definition.
Paulamäki, J., Jyrkkä, J., Hyttinen, V., Jämsen E. Prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication use in older population: comparison of the Finnish Meds75+ database with eight published criteria. BMC Geriatr 23, 139 (2023). (DOI address: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-022-03706-z)
- Jasmin Paulamäki, Researcher, tel. +358 29 522 3604
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