POLYPHARMACY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS: A REVIEW
Patients above 65yrs of age often present with multiple diseases requiring treatment with more number of drugs which is referred to as polypharmacy. Due to age related changes in the pharmacokinetic & pharmacodyamic parameters, elderly patients may present with adverse drug events, drug interactions and hospitalization resulting in increased morbidity. The aim of our study is to assess the various causes and effects of multiple medications and find measures to reduce and manage polypharmacy. Materials for this review were gathered from medline database. The causes for polypharmacy include multiple comorbidities, multiple hospital visits, consuming over the counter medications and herbal products. Risk of falls is found to increase with polypharmacy andÂ treatment with cardiovascular and psychoactive drugs. With increase in the number of drugs the risk of adverse drug reactions and drug interactions is more. Increase in the medical expenditure and non adherence with the drugs has been associated with polypharmacy. Hence there is a need to evaluateÂ polypharmacy by following various criteria or tools and manage treating the elderly in an effective mannerKey words : polypharmacy, multiple medications, elderly adults, geriatric
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