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Age is just a number: the concept of time to benefit in older adults


A female nursing home resident aged >70 years was admitted to the geriatric ward with de novo dysphagia 6 days after being discharged from the stroke unit. Metformin and ezetimibe had been added to her treatment regimen which already consisted of clopidogrel, atorvastatin, denosumab, calcium and vitamin D. At the geriatric ward a multidisciplinary team involving clinical pharmacists reviewed all treatments and appraised the time to benefit, ascertaining whether there was sufficient time left to experience therapeutic benefits. As a result, metformin, ezetimibe, denosumab, calcium and vitamin D were discontinued. This case report illustrates that both mortality risk assessment and evaluation of the time to benefit should be part of any medication review in frail older adults. Conversely, with limited available data pertaining to the concept of time to benefit, we advocate a broader awareness among pharmacists and a systematic assessment in future clinical trials.

  • clinical medicine
  • case reports
  • evidence-based medicine
  • geriatrics
  • pharmacy service
  • hospital

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