An Overview of Polypharmacy in Geriatric Patients

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CHALLENGES IN ELDER CARE, pp.69-80, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5772/64793
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.69-80
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Ageing causes a decrease in cognitive and physical abilities, thus making the elderly more sensitive and vulnerable. Besides, the elderly' living conidtions are greatly affected by various diseases and other health-related problems. As is known, a large number of medicines are used to treat the health-related problems in elderly. Multiple drug use can be named as polypharmacy, though many definitions for "polypharmacy" are available in the literature. Many studies are available to explain the situation of the polypharmacy. Furthermore, there are many studies that confirm the prevalence of polypharmacy in several countries such as Brazil, the Netherlands, Sweden and Singapore. Health professionals involve in different stages of the health care services from the prescription until the usage of the drugs. Especially, pharmacists have significant role in informing the patients about rational use of drugs. It is known that the metabolism in geriatric patients changes with ageing. Therefore, medications, particularly polypharmacy, can cause serious side effect in geriatric patients. However, effective communication between the pharmacists and the patient and reasonable intervention by the pharmacist could prevent the negative effects caused by medications. In addition, an ethical perspective is crucial for considering geriatric patients' benefit.