Polypharmacy in Geriatrics

  • Posted on: 1 May 2014
  • By: admin

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PharmaTutor (May- 2014)
ISSN: 2347 - 7881


Received On: 04/03/2014; Accepted On: 17/03/2014; Published On: 01/05/2014


Author: T. Vishnuvaravidyadhar*, M. Sushma, R. Mohanraj, M. Babu
Department of Pharmacy Practice,
Raghavendra Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research, RIPER
K R Palli Cross, Near S.K University,
Anantapuramu District, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA


Geriatrics is more prone to higher risks of chronic illness and are using multiple medications in order to lead healthy life. Polypharmacy increases the risk of adverse drug events, as a result changes takes place in physiological, social, physical and functional decline in the body. These rapid physiological changes make elderly patients unable to cope with body stresses. Drug toxicity, side effects and adverse drug reactions appear more frequently and are more life-threatening in elderly patients. Tetracyclins, streptomycin, reserpine, and all barbiturates are to be contraindicated in geriatrics in order to prevent further complications. Polypharmacy is the simultaneous taking of many medications, has been well documented and is a topic of much concern for those looking to improve the quality of care for the elderly. Elderly patients often develop complicated conditions and multi-factorial health states that require extensive pharmacotherapy, sometimes surgery leaving the population at risk for exposure to drug-drug interactions, drug-food interactions and other adverse events. Previously literature states that rate of adverse events are directly proportional to number of drugs taken by the patient. To manage all these complications and to avoid polypharmacy Dose regimen should be simple and drugs should be given in combinations to improve patient compliance.

How to cite this article: TVV Vidyadhar, M Sushma, R Mohanraj, M Babu; Polypharmacy in Geriatrics; PharmaTutor; 2014; 2(5); 179-184