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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 83-89

Polypharmacy in Elderly: Overview, Prevalence and Psychiatric Perspectives

Centre for Public Health & Healthcare Administration, Eternal University, Baru Sahib, HP, India

Correspondence Address:
Priya Sharma
MPH Scholar, Akal College of Health and Allied Sciences, Baru Sahib, HP
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.35262/jiag.v15i2.83-89

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Introduction: Ageing is a natural phenomenon that is accompanied by a cascade of unwanted and unintended circumstances or problems that are always undesirable but not still avoidable. Polypharmacy or irrational use of medicines is one of the many issues that may affect any age group but mostly affects the geriatric population. Since ageing is usually associated with several co-morbities. elderly are exposed to polypharmacy to greater extent, Lack of knowledge about the outcomes of polypharmacy adds to the suffering of elderly due to adverse drug reactions caused by drug interactions. Aim: The primary objective of the present study is to assess the prevalence of polypharmacy along with its association with psychiatric problems and how they influence polypharmacy. Methods: A literature review of electronic databases utilizing the search terms polypharmacy, polypharmacy in elderly, polypharmacy and ageing, multiple medications, inappropriate medication and prescribing cascade etc. for the period from 2010 to 2018 was done. The search was supplemented with online site searches of relevant medical, health and pharmaceutical journals. Also, literature comprising of original articles, and case studies were studied to identify articles which correspond to various definitions, causes, types of polypharmacy etc. The priority of search was geriatric pharmacy. Thus, the studies or the articles matching the geriatric age group were considered, and adequate data was extracted. A specific protocol regarding the sectioning of search like relevant data & irrelevant data was then incorporated to collect the most suitable and the authentic material for the review. Results: The aged population practice polypharmacy more in comparison to other age groups. Psychiatric illnesses further, enhances the polypharmacy. Conclusion: The findings suggested that polypharmacy is associated with the worsening of the health of the elderly due to its positive association with mental health problems.

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