Polypharmacy in Primary Care Practices among Chronic Elderly Patients in Gaza Strip

DOI: 10.4236/pp.2014.53036   PDF   HTML     4,105 Downloads   5,789 Views   Citations


Introduction: The increasing number of elderly, and drug use among the elderly, emphasizes the need for continuous monitoring of drug utilization. Chronic diseases are frequent among the older population; the rate of drug related problems and drug-drug interactions (DDIs) with the medical and financial consequences are enormous. Polypharmacy (PP) is defined as the concomitant use of 5 or more medications. We studied PP among chronic elderly patients in Gaza Strip and its distri- bution among primary health care clinics in different areas. Materials and Methods: This study is a descriptive analytical study, analyzing prescription data from general practices during a 3-month time period, to measure the prevalence of PP and medication errors among chronic elderly pa- tients. Data were collected directly from the prescriptions and medical records, which contain per- sonal data for patients like patient age and gender, included the current illness, drug treatment for the current illness, chronic disease/s and drug treatment for chronic disease/s. SPSS software was used to analyze the obtained data. Results: Percent of major PP was the highest among patients aged 60 - 69 years when compared with other ages categories of study population but not reached to be statisticaly significant (0.012). Major PP was higher in female patients than that in male patients but difference wasn’t statistically significant (0.5). The average number of drug per prescription was 3.4 drug; and the minimum value per prescription was 1 meanwhile maximum value was 9 (SD + 1.7). Conclusion: PP (use of five drugs or more) is more prevalent among elderly patients with multiple diseases. Female patients consume more drugs than male do. There were some regional differences in drug utilization not explained by morbidity, suggesting some varia- tions in prescribing behaviors.

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Taleb, M. , Abed, A. , Dahudi, A. , Najim, A. and Ahmed, A. (2014) Polypharmacy in Primary Care Practices among Chronic Elderly Patients in Gaza Strip. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 5, 291-297. doi: 10.4236/pp.2014.53036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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