Polypharmacy and the elderly

Polypharmacy is an area of concern for elderly because of several reasons. Elderly people are at a greater risk for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) because of the metabolic changes and reduced drug clearance associated with ageing; this risk is furthermore exacerbated by increasing the number of drugs used.Author:
Rushabh J Dagli, Akanksha SharmaCited by:
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How does polypharmacy affect the elderly?

The symptoms caused by polypharmacy is unfortunately usually demented with the normal aging signs and symptoms, which can be: Tiredness, sleepiness, or decreased alertness, constipation, diarrhea, or incontinence, loss of appetite, confusion, falls, depression or lack of interest in your usual activities, weakness,

What effect does polypharmacy have on patients?

Polypharmacy is a barrier to adherence because of the associated complex medication regimens, increased risk of adverse drug events and high medication costs. Poor adherence contributes to the increased risk of medication errors seen with polypharmacy . Polypharmacy is associated with suboptimal prescribing.

What are three of the negative outcomes of polypharmacy?

Unfortunately, there are many negative consequences associated with polypharmacy . , Specifically, the burden of taking multiple medications has been associated with greater health care costs and an increased risk of adverse drug events (ADEs), drug-interactions, medication non-adherence, reduced functional capacity and

How can polypharmacy be prevented in older adults?

Conducting medication reconciliations at care transition, eliminating duplicate medications, assessing for drug-drug interactions, and reviewing dosages can reduce the incidence of polypharmacy , ensure patient safety, reduce hospitalizations, and decrease associated costs.

Which of the following are common causes of polypharmacy in older adults?

Causes of Polypharmacy Multiple prescribers. Patients with a chronic disease such as diabetes often see specialists in addition to their primary care providers. Aging population. As the population ages, the incidence of chronic conditions increases. Complex drug therapies. Psychosocial contributions. Adverse drug reactions.

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Which drugs cause the most ADRs in the elderly?

The lists of medicines most likely to be used in the elderly include antibiotics, anticoagulants, digoxin, diuretics , hypoglycemic agents, antineoplastic agents and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) and these are responsible for 60% of ADRs leading to hospital admission and 70% of ADRs occurring in

How many drugs is considered polypharmacy?

The most commonly reported definition of polypharmacy was the numerical definition of five or more medications daily (n = 51, 46.4% of articles), with definitions ranging from two or more to 11 or more medicines.

How many medications is considered polypharmacy?

Polypharmacy , defined as regular use of at least five medications , is common in older adults and younger at-risk populations and increases the risk of adverse medical outcomes.

What are the most common drug interactions associated with polypharmacy?

Most commonly interacting drug combination was aspirin + enalapril (30.2%). Conclusion: A higher incidence of polypharmacy and increased risk of potential DDIs in elderly people with cardiovascular disease are major therapeutic issues at Yekatit 12 hospital.

How do you know you have polypharmacy?

Clinically, the criteria utilized for identifying polypharmacy involve the following: Taking medications that have no apparent indication. Using therapeutic equivalents to treat the same illness. Concurrent usage of interacting medications. Using an inappropriate dosage.

How is polypharmacy treated?

Treatment of Polypharmacy Obtain an accurate medication and medical history. Link each prescribed medication to a disease state. Identify medications that are treating side effects. Initiate interventions to ensure adherence. Reconcile medications upon any discharge from hospital or skilled nursing facility. Prevention.

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How can older adults avoid polypharmacy What is the nurse’s role in preventing polypharmacy?

The primary-care provider and specialists must maintain good communication with each other to prevent or minimize problems. Advise patients to use only one pharmacy to obtain medications; this adds another level of review to help ensure appropriate dosage and reduce the risk of adverse drugs effects and interactions.

Is polypharmacy a problem?

Polypharmacy may be harmful in that it can increase the risk of drug interactions and adverse drug reactions, together with impairing medication adherence and quality of life for patients.

What are the tools available to help decrease polypharmacy?

Three of the most common tools used to manage polypharmacy are START, STOPP , and the Beer’s list.

How common is polypharmacy?

Concomitant use of multiple prescription drugs (‘ polypharmacy ‘) is increasingly common , with 10% of the population1,2 and 30% of older adults in the United States taking five or more drugs simultaneously13.

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