Prevalence of Polypharmacy in Geriatric Patients in Rural Teaching Hospital

This study was performed to asses and establishes the prevalence of Polypharmacy in geriatric population in the Medicine ward of Rajah Muthaiya Medical College and Hospital, Annamalai University, during one year from January 2013 to January 2014. Demographic analyses of this prospective study revealed that out of 520 patients, 342 (65.76%) were males and 178 (34.23%) were females. All the collected prescriptions were scrutinized for Polypharmacy and were categorized as minor Polypharmacy -concurrent use of ≤ 5 drugs; and major Polypharmacy -concurrent use of > 5 drugs. Out of 502 Prescriptions 61(11.73%) prescriptions were minor Polypharmacy and 457(88.26%) prescriptions were major Polypharmacy. The maximum patients were in the age group of 60-64 (38.84%) range lead to a significant increase in the number of medications. The most common diseases associated systems were Cardiovascular system 147 (28.26 %) patients, and followed by Respiratory system 103(19.80%). Our results show that there is a higher prevalence of Polypharmacy among the males than females. The length of hospital stay of geriatric patients is increase in major Polypharmacy compare with minor Polypharmacy. The prevalence of cardiovascular drugs and respiratory drugs were often involved in Polypharmacy among geriatric patients. Polypharmacy is very common among geriatric patient and health care professional’s interventions to improve the optimal use of medication in geriatric could lead to reduction in the drug related problems associated with Polypharmacy.

Author(s): Maheshkumar V.P. and Dhanapal C.K

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