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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 165-168

A cross-sectional study to assess prevalence of polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medicines in geriatric population of western Maharashtra

1 Department of Geriatrics, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Commandant, Air Force Hospital, Kanpur, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vivek Aggarwal
Department of Geriatrics, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiag.jiag_17_20

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Introduction: With advancing age, polypharmacy is increasing due to multiple diseases, multiple doctors and symptoms specific over the counter self medication. This leads to adverse drug reactions and increase in potentially in appropriate medicines (PIMs). This study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of poly -pharmacy in elderly. The secondary objectives were to look for an association between common geriatric symptoms and polypharmacy and estimate prevalence of PIMs. Methodology: Analytical observational cross-sectional study conducted in a tertiary care hospital in Western Maharashtra over a period of 6 months between Aug 2016 to Dec 2016. PIMs were estimated base on BEERS criteria. Results: A total of 168 participants were interviewed. They were selected sequentially from a polyclinic with high geriatric load. Among the participants, there were 120 (71.43%) males and 48 (28.57%) females. The mean age was 70.25 years ± 6.25 years (range 51 to 90 years). Most (77.98%) of the elderly suffered from 2 or more diseases. The average number of drugs taken was 6.85 ± 3.42. Numerical polypharmacy (> 5 drugs) was present in 124 (73.81 %) elderly, with micro-polypharmacy (> 5 drugs) in 83 (49.40 %) and macro-polypharmacy (> 10 rugs) in 41 (24.41 %). According to Beers' criteria, 87 (37.8 %) participants had been prescribed at least one PIM Conclusion: Polypharmacy is widely prevalent in the geriatric age group and has a significant association with PIMs. It is important to evaluate the patient comprehensively and deprescribe unnecessary medicines to reduce PIMs, adverse drug reactions and drug drug interactions.

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