Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Doherty AS;Shahid F;Moriarty F;Boland F;Clyne B;Dreischulte T;Fahey T;Kennelly SP;Wallace E;
Pharmacology Research & Perspectives
Prescribing cascades in community-dwelling adults: A systematic review.
Optional Fields
The misattribution of an adverse drug reaction (ADR) as a symptom or illness can lead to the prescribing of additional medication, referred to as a prescribing cascade. The aim of this systematic review is to identify published prescribing cascades in community-dwelling adults. A systematic review was reported in line with the PRISMA guidelines and pre-registered with PROSPERO. Electronic databases (Medline [Ovid], EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Library) and grey literature sources were searched. Inclusion criteria: community-dwelling adults; risk-prescription medication; outcomes-initiation of new medicine to "treat" or reduce ADR risk; study type-cohort, cross-sectional, case-control, and case-series studies. Title/abstract screening, full-text screening, data extraction, and methodological quality assessment were conducted independently in duplicate. A narrative synthesis was conducted. A total of 101 studies (reported in 103 publications) were included. Study sample sizes ranged from 126 to 11¿593¿989 participants and 15 studies examined older adults specifically (=60¿years). Seventy-eight of 101 studies reported a potential prescribing cascade including calcium channel blockers to loop diuretic (n = 5), amiodarone to levothyroxine (n = 5), inhaled corticosteroid to topical antifungal (n = 4), antipsychotic to anti-Parkinson drug (n = 4), and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor to urinary incontinence drugs (n = 4). Identified prescribing cascades occurred within three months to one year following initial medication. Methodological quality varied across included studies. Prescribing cascades occur for a broad range of medications. ADRs should be included in the differential diagnosis for patients presenting with new symptoms, particularly older adults and those who started a new medication in the preceding 12¿months.
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