Australian researchers have recently published a study that assessed use of medicines associated with delirium prior to hospital admission in older people with a recorded diagnosis of delirium. This retrospective observational study used de‐identified data from the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs Health Care Claims Database. Of 22 923 older patients in the cohort, three quarters were taking at least one medicine associated with delirium, and the median number of medications per patient was two (interquartile range, 1‐3). The most frequently used medicines known to be associated with delirium were psycholeptics ( category including antipsychotics, anxiolytics and hypnosedatives), opioids and tricyclic antidepressants. The information gleaned from this study might usefully be considered during the processes of medication review, as a strategy to reduce the prevalence if delirium, a dangerous condition that can prove lethal for older people.
Use of high-risk medicines often pre-dates delirium
Feb 1, 2019