General

Determining Polypharmacy

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7 Mar 2017 - General
 

There is no universally acceptable definition of polypharmacy. Some authors define is as the intake of more than four medications.  This phenomenon is very common because a lot of our patients have multiple medical comorbidities. As a medical practitioner, it is our responsibility to determine if our patients are suffering from inappropriate polypharmacy. I would just like to ask other members of the community as to how they determine inappropriate polypharmacy in their practice settings. 

Picture credit: https://transform-healthcare.com/2016/05/18/the-dangers-of-polypharmacy-and-how-pharmacists-can-help/

I agree with Mark Edmon Tan that it is the attending physician's duty here in our health care setting. However, in this day and age of specialization, various physicians could assume that the other specialist/s would be checking for polypharmacy, and so this would end up with multiple medications going unchecked. Having a GP would be of great help, however, it's back again to the mentality that GPs are le...
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic Theekshana Abayawickrama . Polypharmacy is a common problem that is difficult to resolve especially in regions wherein specialty care predominates general practitioner practice. Most specialists will not discontinue the medications that other doctors have started out of courtesy. I think that this is particularly problematic for elderly individuals who are more sus...
 (Total 66 words)