Looking for the “little things”: A multi-disciplinary approach to medicines monitoring for older people using the ADRe resource

David Hughes, Meirion Jordan, Patricia A. Logan, Alan Willson, Sherrill Snelgrove, Melanie Storey, Mojtaba Vaismoradi, Sue Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Advances in medicines have increased the effectiveness of treatments and the social and cultural authority of doctors. However, as prescribing has become the dominant modality of treatment, the “pharmaceuticalization” of medical practice has often resulted in treatment “at a distance”, with doctors having limited contact with patients. Older and poorer people, who are socially distanced from medical prescribers, suffer more adverse drug reactions (ADRs) than the general population. A team approach to checking patients systematically for ADRs, as detailed in manufacturers’ literature, can minimise medication errors, but regular review is rare. This paper explains the benefits of medicines monitoring to protect older patients from iatrogenic harm, such as over-sedation, falls, or drug-induced Parkinsonism. We show how multidisciplinary initiatives to optimise prescribing can be supported by using a recognised resource—the adverse drug reaction profile (ADRe). The profile identifies and documents patients’ signs and symptoms of putative ADRs. Better monitoring allows professionals to adjust prescribing and respond to identified problems with agility. Implementation of systematic monitoring will require changes to the regulatory regime and better inter-professional cooperation. Providing carers, nurses and pharmacists with a structured system to monitor patients would democratise relevant medical knowledge and help address ageism and the socio-economic health divide.

Original languageEnglish
Article number79
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2020


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