Although older adults are prone to potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs), they are also subject to potential prescribing omissions (PPOs). The latter consist of therapies that should be included as part of an individual's overall treatment, but for some reason are missing. Although PIMs can play a role in developing side effects or adverse events, PPOs are equally important if a condition goes unnoticed or untreated.
A recent study* of over 300 individuals aged 75 years or older indicated that calcium and vitamin D are often forgotten therapies. More than 13% of individuals with osteoporosis had vitamin D and calcium omissions. This is particularly distressing given that both these agents are the backbone of treatment in people with osteoporosis. Another equally alarming observation is the fact that almost one in five (18.3%) individuals prone to falls were prescribed a benzodiazepine - Valium is an example you are likely familiar with. This class of drugs is associated with sedationand confusion which can reduce a person's ability to be alert and increase the likelihood of a fall.
*San-Jose A, et al. BMC Geriatr, 2015; 15(1): 42