Polypharmacy in the Elderly

Polypharmacy is a common problem encountered by clinicians caring for elderly in many care settings, but especially in long-term care, where patients tend to have comorbidites and require multiple medications. Polypharmacy refers to the use of multiple medications by a patient, specifically when many forms of medication are used by a patient, more drugs are prescribed than clinically warranted, or even when all prescribed medications are clinically indicated, but there are too many to take. Polypharmacy increases the risk of adverse drug reactions and adverse drug-drug interactions, which has been linked to increased risk of falls and other negative outcomes. Annals of Long-Term Care has covered this topic in depth over the years.

Here is a recent article by Raza Haque, MD: ARMOR: A Tool to Evaluate Polypharmacy in Elderly Persons

Here are a few related articles on managing older patients with multiple comorbidities:

Optimal Management of an Older Patient With Multiple Comorbidities and Complex Psychosocial History

New App Provides Comprehensive Database on Antibiotic Spectrum of Efficacy Against Microorganisms

 

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