- The Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Progress in Rehabilitation Medicine (ISSN:24321354)
- vol.7, pp.20220025, 2022 (Released:2022-05-14)
Pharmacotherapy is important in older patients undergoing rehabilitation because such patients, especially those with frailty and physical disabilities, are susceptible to drug-related functional impairment. Drug-related problems include polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs), and potential prescription omissions. These problems are associated with adverse drug events such as dysphagia, depression, drowsiness, falls and fractures, incontinence, decreased appetite, and Parkinson’s syndrome, leading to impaired improvement in activities of daily living (ADL), quality of life (QOL), and nutritional status. Moreover, the anticholinergic burden is associated with impaired physical and cognitive functions. Therefore, pharmacist-centered multidisciplinary pharmacotherapy should be performed to maximize rehabilitation outcomes. Pharmacotherapy includes a review of all medications, the assessment of drug-related problems, goal setting, correction of polypharmacy and PIMs, monitoring of drug prescriptions, and reassessment of drug-related problems. The goal of pharmacotherapy in rehabilitation medicine is to optimize drug prescribing and to maximize the improvement of ADL and QOL as patient outcomes. The role of pharmacists during rehabilitation is to treat patients as part of multidisciplinary teams and as key members of nutritional support teams. In this review, we aim to highlight existing evidence regarding pharmacotherapy in older adults, including drug-related functional impairment and the association between pharmacotherapy and functional, cognitive, and nutritional outcomes among patients undergoing rehabilitation. In addition, we highlight the important role of pharmacists in maximizing improvements in rehabilitation outcomes and minimizing drug-related adverse effects.