A polypharmacy definition that recognizes the use of suitable and inappropriate pharmaceuticals is "polypharmacy extends from the use of a large number of medications to the use of possibly inappropriate medications, medication underuse and duplication". Polypharmacy is often considered inappropriate when there is evidence that multiple drugs are being taken by an individual without consulting their doctor. In this case, the patient has become their own pharmacist by self-adjusting medications based on physiological needs or convenience.
An example of polypharmacy is when someone takes five different medications at once. This can be harmful because you may get sicker faster from taking too many drugs at once. Other examples include when people take more medications than they should in order to manage multiple health problems simultaneously or when they increase the dose of their existing medications without talking to their doctors first. In some cases, patients may believe that they need more medications to deal with symptoms that may not actually exist. For example, if a patient has high blood pressure (hypertension) but no symptoms of this condition, it would be inappropriate for him/her to be taking any medications for it. However, most hypertension patients should be taking medications even if they do not have all of the symptoms of this condition. This is because ignoring or not treating hypertension can lead to serious complications such as stroke or heart attack later in life.
Polypharmacy is described as the use of more drugs than is medically necessary or an increase in the number of medications. Polypharmacy is widespread in ambulatory care, hospital, and nursing home patients over the age of 65. Polypharmacy raises the risk of a variety of unfavorable health outcomes in the elderly. For example, taking multiple medications increases the risk of adverse effects.
Some studies have shown that up to 50% of community-dwelling older people take five or more medications daily. Other research has shown that up to 18% of seniors take ten or more medications daily. There are several possible reasons why so many older people are using so many medications. Many physicians may believe that patients can handle the risks of taking more than one medication at a time. Some doctors also may not want to reduce the number of medications they think are needed for their patients' conditions. In addition, some patients may not tell their doctors about all of their other medications or possible drug interactions with those taken by them daily.
The most common type of medication used by the elderly is aspirin. Aspirin is recommended for the prevention of heart disease and stroke. Although it is very effective at reducing these types of events, taking aspirin regularly increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Therefore, before prescribing aspirin to an older patient, your doctor should evaluate their history of stomach problems including ulcers.
Polypharmacy, defined as the regular use of at least five drugs, is widespread in older persons and younger at-risk populations and raises the risk of negative medical consequences. Polypharmacy can be caused by a number of risk factors. Older people are more likely to suffer from multiple chronic conditions, which can lead to drug therapy being prescribed for these problems instead of addressing them directly. In addition, older people may be less sensitive to side effects from medication so higher doses are required, further increasing their risk of experiencing adverse reactions.
Older adults are often treated with several different medications after being discharged from the hospital. These patients are at increased risk for developing drug interactions because they tend to have other health problems too. Many hospitals require that patients take certain medications during their stay but don't stop them when they leave. This can put patients at risk for developing complications from untreated medical conditions or exposing them to potential risks from medications left over from previous visits. Patients should also avoid taking medications without talking to their doctor first.
There are many studies showing that the use of multiple medications is very common among older people and is a major cause of death in this population. Research has shown that approximately half of all seniors take at least five medications daily, and one out of three takes ten or more medications. Women age 85 or older are most likely to be on multiple medications.