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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 222-227

A study on polypharmacy and drug interactions among elderly hypertensive patients admitted in a tertiary care hospital

1 Final MBBS Part-II Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, DMIMS (DU), Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pharmacology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shailesh Nagpure
Department of Pharmacology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha - 442 001, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_152_17

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BACKGROUND: Polypharmacy may be defined as the effects of taking multiple medications concurrently to manage coexisting health problems, such as diabetes and hypertension. Polypharmacy is an important issue in elderly patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the rural tertiary care teaching hospital in Central India over 2 months. A total of 100 patients were studied. The study population included hypertensive geriatric population above 65 years admitted in the medicine ward who were willing to consent for participation. The patients with incomplete case sheets admitted in the Emergency and Intensive Care Units and with serious illness, malignancy, and other complications were excluded. RESULTS: Out of the total 403 medicine prescribed to study population, 271 potential drug–drug interactions were observed among elderly hypertensive patients. Moderate drug–drug interaction was found to be most common (50.62%) followed by mild (8.64%) and severe (7.94%). Most common potential inappropriate medicine used was spironolactone followed by diltiazem, diclofenac, olanzapine, metoclopramide, digoxin, insulin, and isopto hyoscine (Sliding scale) in the study population. CONCLUSION: In the present study, we can conclude that polypharmacy is a major risk factor for secondary morbidity in elderly patients. Polypharmacy leads to more potential drug–drug interactions and potential inappropriate medicine use. The use of medicines to disease condition is necessary, but unnecessary load of drugs to patient will increase the safety problems. Polypharmacy can be avoided by sharing treatment goals and plans. To improve drug safety in this high-risk population, appropriate prescribing might be more important than simply reducing the number of prescribed drugs.

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