PREVALENCE AND CLINICAL CONSEQUENCES OF POLYPHARMACY ON MEDICATION PROFILE AMONG THE ELDERLY IN A TERTIARY CARE TEACHING HOSPITAL
Objective: A sharp increase in chronic diseases for elderly patients has been observed in recent years resulting in polypharmacy, which may lead to drug-drug interactions (DDI’s), drug-related problems, adverse drug reactions (ADR’s), and many more issues in these patients. The present study was conducted to assess the clinical consequences of polypharmacy and its prevalence in the older adult population.
Methods: Our work is a prospective, observational study carried out in a tertiary care teaching hospital. The polypharmacy prescriptions were identified (taking at least five medications), and drug-drug interactions were detected by Micromedex® DrugReax® System 2.0 version. The medication profiles were also checked for inappropriate prescribing according to Beers Criteria 2015.
Results: In the study, the mean age of patients was found to be 72.4±8.8 years. Most of the patients (81.8%) had more than two and less than five diseases. The mean number of drugs prescribed in all the prescriptions was found to be 7.4±2.6. According to Beers Criteria-2015, 3.83% of the total medications prescribed were inappropriate, 74.1% of moderate DDI’s were observed in patients, and 50.2% of the DDI’s observed theoretically were documented as fair.
Conclusion: The impact of polypharmacy on consequences such as the length of stay, DDI’s, and DRP’s was also found to be significant. This study concludes that the medication profile of older adult patients should be assessed regularly for the rationality of drug therapy to maximize the therapeutic response positively with the lowest number of medications possible.
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