Polypharmacy and inappropriate medicines among participants in the MedBridge study
Abstract: Abstract Introduction: Polypharmacy and inappropriate medication are common issues in elderly patients. Older people are more likely to suffer from adverse drug reactions and other drug-related problems due to the increased presence of multimorbidity, inappropriate polypharmacy, age related impairments in the hepatic metabolism and renal clearance of medication and enhanced pharmacodynamic sensitivity to specific drugs. Aim: The aim of this study was to analyze, compare and describe medication use in the MedBridge study population, in total and for different patient groups. Materials and Methods: Medication data from approximately 700 patients from Uppsala University Hospital and the hospital of Enköping was extracted from the medical record system and stored in an electronic data capture system. This data was joined together with the collected data from the other 1939 study participants and exported to Microsoft excel for analyses. Results: The mean value of prescribed medicines was 9.2. Women had significantly higher (p<0.05) number of prescribed medicines. Participants aged 85 or older had the highest number of prescribed medicines and participant between 65-74 had the least prescribed medicines. The mean value was significantly higher (p<0.05) for women aged 85 years or older and women between 75-85 years compared with women aged 65- 74. In this population 461 patients (17.4%) used at least one inappropriate medicine. Of all the women 18.8% used at least one inappropriate medicine and 15.7% of all the men. Women aged 85 years or older used the most inappropriate medicines and men between 65-74 used the least. Women aged 85 or older used significantly (p<0.05) higher amount of inappropriate medicines than women aged 65-74 years did. Conclusion: In conclusion, this report shows that many of our elderly haves’ polypharmacy and that women are using more medicines than men and more inappropriate medicines than men. It also indicates that the older you get, the more medicines you use.
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