J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 2(Suppl. 1): S21, 2014
Special supplement with the abstract book of LATINFARMA 2013
CO 039: RATIONAL USE OF MEDICINES IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE: POLYPHARMACY IN PEOPLE AGED 60 YEARS AND OLDER
Ponce LN, Brizuela NY.Cátedra de Farmacología General. Facultad de Ciencias Médicas .Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Argentina. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction: Pharmacotherapy in the elderly population is complicated by several factors that increase the risk of drugs. Rational use of medicines refers to the correct, proper and appropriate use of medicines. More than 50% of all medicines are prescribed, dispensed or sold inappropriately, and half of all patients fail to take medicines correctly. This article aims to highlight the increasing impact of polypharmacy in the elderly patients.
Methodology: The present study is prospective in nature, descriptive, cross sectional, carried out between February and May 2011, in a primary care clinic at a senior center in the city of Cordoba, Argentina.
Results: In this sample, 74.21% used from 5 to 8 medicines daily; all of them used to take each medication at least 3 times daily. In this sample, 73.04% had increased risk of adverse drug reaction (ADRs) and 78% came from different physicians. A third (34%) of the patients was treated predominately with cardiovascular diseases drugs. Metabolic diseases (25%), digestive illness (14.5%), neurological and psychiatric disorders (14.5%) and the others (14.5%). A quarter (25%) of the patients was treated with very little therapeutic value drugs.
Conclusions: Polypharmacy, as well as inappropriate prescribing, for the elderly is a major problem and a challenge that contributes to costs, adverse drug events, confusion, compliance issues, and errors in management. A systematic approach to drug monitoring is an important aspect of appropriate prescribing. Attention to prescribing of medications, consistent review of medication lists, and reevaluation of indications and outcomes of prescribing are essential to ensure that polypharmacy is minimized and safety for patients is maximized.