Dr. Ch. Sridevi*, K. Bhavya Sri, J. Archana, J. Sai Keerthana and K. Pavithra


Polypharmacy and medication adherence in elderly patients is a serious issue emerging worldwide which is leading to potential hazards. Polypharmacy is indirectly correlated with the medication adherence mainly in geriatric patients. The main objective of the study is to determine the causes and severity of polypharmacy and to assess the medication adherence and their factors of non-adherence and to improve medication adherence of elderly people with polypharmacy. In this cross-sectional observational study, Polypharmacy and medication adherence in elderly patients in a tertiary care hospital was determined in 108 patients. This study involves enquiring patients about demographic details, past medical and medication history, comorbidities, symptoms, drug chart, medication adherence and non-adherence levels by using MARS scale questionnaire form. Weakness, body pains, GI disturbances symptoms commonly associated with polypharmacy use in elderly patients. The major cause of polypharmacy is co-morbid conditions, poor medication adherence and inappropriate medications. In the study group of 108 geriatric patient’s prevalence is more in males-64 than females-44. 82% of older adults take >10 medications. Forgetfulness (43.52%) and financial issues (21%) are highly addressed for poor medication adherence. Patients showed high adherence to antihypertensives, antidiabetics and thyroid agents. Simplification of drug regimens as well as better explanations of the reason for the medications, providing dosing cards, medication reconciliation, eliminating duplicate medications should be targets for intervention to avoid polypharmacy especially for co-morbid geriatric patients.

Keywords: comorbidities, questionnaire, non-adherence, polypharmacy.

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