Medications and nutrition in the elderly

Author(s): Roe DA

Abstract

Single drug and drug combinations taken by elderly individuals may impose nutritional risk. Nutritional risk induced by drug intake include anorexia, excessive increase in appetite, drug-induced nutritional deficiencies, and toxic reactions. Drug side effects, such as postural hypotension, may interfere with food shopping or cooking ability. Prescribed diets may also impose a risk of drug-induced side effects or diminished drug efficacy. Unwanted outcomes of drug-food and drug-nutrient interactions can be minimized by instructing elderly men and women and their caregivers to avoid timing errors in drug-taking behavior and toxic reactions due to food incompatibility. In addition, drug-induced nutritional deficiencies can be avoided by advising drug-taking elderly on the appropriate levels of nutrient intake.

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