CC BY 4.0 · Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol 2023; 44(04): 384-390
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1768569
Review Article

Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting in Geriatric Oncology in India: An Understudied Topic that Needs Attention

Sanitha Kuriachan
1   Department of Pharmacology, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
1   Department of Pharmacology, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
Thomas George
2   Internal Medicine, Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, United States
3   Department of Research, Mangalore Institute of Oncology, Pumpwell, Mangalore, India
› Author Affiliations


In the elderly, polypharmacy is a common problem, and drug interactions and adverse drug reactions (ADR) have been linked to considerable harm in several population-based studies. However, when compared with other medical disciplines, studies with elderly cancer patients are lacking in oncology and India in particular. Additionally, intake of multiple drugs and, at times, potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are also common in older cancer patients. Physiologically, the body's metabolic functions are reduced in the elderly, resulting in altered medication pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic characteristics. There is also a high risk of aging-related disorders, and an increase in pharmaceutical use. Because cancer can affect the physiological milieu, patients are more likely to experience negative drug responses, drug–disease interactions, and drug–drug interactions, thereby making the elderly more vulnerable to the ill effects. Considering this, there is a need for greater knowledge and measures that try to lessen exposure to and the risks connected to drug combinations that might be detrimental. As the geriatric population grows, the need to address medical issues among aging cancer patients becomes more pressing, particularly in India. As far as the authors are aware, there is no review that addresses the drug–drug interactions and adverse drug responses brought on by polypharmacy in older cancer patients. It is expected that this endeavor will help the fraternity and the patients, and will serve as a valuable academic material for the health care students.

Publication History

Article published online:
09 June 2023

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