Polypharmacy, described as an individual taking more than four medications, can be concerning with the aging population. Polypharmacy concerns include adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, higher cost, decreased mobility, decreased quality of life and cognition impairment. Those at greater risk of negative polypharmacy consequences include elderly, psychiatric patients, recently hospitalized, individuals with multiple doctors or pharmacies and people with impaired vision or dexterity. There are times that polypharmacy is at times needed to help a person with their diagnosis, an example of this is using multiple medications to treat congestive heart failure which can include digoxin, diuretics, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
Inappropriate prescribing commonly occurs in adults aged 65 or older, who have a higher prevalence of chronic disease, disability, and dependency (Page II, Linnebur, Bryant, & Ruscin, 2010). Exposure to inappropriate medications is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and health care utilization (Page II, Linnebur, Bryant, & Ruscin, 2010). Below is a list of measures that concentrate on the prescribing of correct medications in the hospital
Senior citizens are the people who are most likely to take multiple medications due to the occurring chronic conditions as the aging process continues. Given the several medicines they take, they are ironically the age group that is very much sensitive to medication side effects, both therapeutic and negative.
Nearly half of seniors do not take their medications when or how they were prescribed. There are mistakes on dosages, methods of delivery, time of delivery, what they should be taken with, and even if they should still be taken. Compounding the issue, most seniors over the age of 65 are taking between 8 and 13 different medications. Put these numbers together and it is no wonder that problems with medication management are one of the leading reasons seniors end up in the emergency room, and is the number one reason seniors end up back in the hospital after being recently discharged. According to a study published in "Pharmacotherapy", nearly 70 percent of hospitalized seniors suffered from at least one
The US is an aging society like many societies around the world and as a result, there is an increase in the number of patients admitted to nursing homes. The elderly population is a fragile population that undergoes mental and physical decline in health. This increases the number of medications used, which increase the risk of adverse drug reactions due to drug-drug and drug-disease interactions. Pharmacists have become increasingly active in nursing homes by providing medication therapy management services, but the benefit in reducing prevalence of these adverse drug reactions is not fully understood. Medication therapy management is a growing field that has been incorporated by pharmacists in different states to optimize therapeutic outcomes in individual patients. Understanding the relationship between medication management and drug- drug
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of older adult pharmacology is the concomitant use of multiple medications. Among community-
In the United States today, the elderly make up approximately 13% of the population but use 30% of all prescriptions written. This article focuses on the importance of understanding patients’ prescriptions and their adverse drug events (ADE), as well as the best ways to care for patients with many prescriptions. The article also discusses the best ways to avoid ADEs.
Drug therapy always carries risks, but in older populations, that risk is at times amplified due to normal physiological variations. When considering drug therapy for an older
According to an article written by Anna Gorman of Health Leaders Media, the use of prescription drugs is a growing concern. The article mentions Lola Cal, a patient in a geriatric unit in Santa Monica, California whose medical records show that she is on 36 different medications. Although people born from 1946 to 1964, known as the baby boomer generation, only make up 16% of the U. S. population, this generation accounts for one-third of prescription drug use. Many elderly patients take several medications to treat chronic illnesses and raise their chances for serious side effects and dangerous drug interactions. Dr. Maristela Garcia, director of the inpatient geriatric unit at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica states that polypharmacy is “America’s other drug problem.
Older adults are at high risk for adverse effects of medication error more than their counteract younger adults. This is because they depend on more than one medication in order to treat or prevent disease, syndromes and sickness (Lindenberg, 2010). It is inevitable that the elderly face adverse effects of drugs while on medication especially when they still live independently. However, chances of errors in hospitals and care homes are more frequent when the medication process connects several departments (Belen et. al., 2009). Therefore, tactical measures are required in the provision of drug therapy in order to optimize safe medication in older adults. This paper discusses the issue by analyzing the existing structure of administering medication, reviewing the occurrence of medication errors; evaluating systems developed to advance safe medication administration. Finally, addressing the implication for professional nursing practice.
Pharmacist say they've had older people taking 3-5 prescriptions, that are confusing them because some are nullifying each other. Meanwhile doctors are over prescribing medications and patients are becoming junkies. Most people taking that many prescriptions hardly even know what drug it is.
Medications are the most common treatment used within health care and are administered by medical professionals globally (Duerden, Avery & Payne, 2013). Their use has been proven to successfully treat and prevent disease while contributing to improvements in health outcomes when used appropriately (ACSQHC, 2013). However, the common use of medications and the increasing prevalence of multi-morbidities and polypharmacy use invites an increased risk of error and associated adverse events in hospital settings. This is combined with the need to cater for the ageing population with vast and sometimes complicated medical requirements, in addition to the establishment of an array of new medications. As such, medication errors have been identified
Due to age-related physiological changes, older adults are at risk for adverse drug events (ADE’s). These factors could be, polypharmacy, medication metabolism or improper medication administration. Older adults are often prescribed multiple medications to treat a variety of chronic illnesses. The average older person consumes five to eight drugs daily (Chia, 2006). Polypharmacy has a strong correlation to Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) which can have devastating results in older adults. As a society with an aging population, it is crucial that we properly educate older adults and their caregivers on safe medication use and adherence. Barriers to safe medication use in older generations are often health literacy which needs to be addressed
Mirlene great topic! The elderly are definitely at a higher risk for falls especially because many times they are on multiple medications prescribed by different physicians. This is another area that could have been added to the elderly in relation to falls. I’m sure you have seen it, as have I where a patient comes in because they fell at home and they are seeing a cardiologist, primary care provider and a nephrologist and none of those providers talk to each other. This is turn equals multiple medications and many with a risk of dizziness that can lead to a fall.
Increasing age and related comorbidities have resulted in excessive use of drugs causing increased incidence of adverse effects, inappropriate medication use and increased health care costs1. Polypharmacy has become a significant problem in caring patients. A 10 year old study in finland from 1980 to 1990s showed that the use of polypharmacy increased more than three times2. Major polypharmacy (>5 drugs) prevalence in south wales and Netherlands