Pharmacotherapy of type 2 diabetes mellitus in frail elderly patients.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus is expected to rise in the frail elderly population, which will have significant consequences for the health economy. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia can be subtle in the elderly. Hypoglycaemia accounts for more hospital admissions than hyperglycaemia. Treatment targets are set based on the risk of adverse events resulting from treatment and the benefits expected from tighter glycaemic control. The different medications available are discussed including the different types of insulin, in particular relation to usage in older adults. The choice of therapy is based on the targets, comorbidities and the characteristics of each antidiabetic agent. Deintensification of therapy should be considered in patients who experience adverse effects. Treatment guidelines should be formulated based on the above principles, as many current guidelines do not incorporate deintensification of therapy.