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Int J Emerg Med. 2011 Jun 2;4(1):22. doi: 10.1186/1865-1380-4-22.

The prevalence of polypharmacy in elderly attenders to an emergency department - a problem with a need for an effective solution.

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Emergency Department, Chase Farm Hospital, The Ridgeway, Enfield EN 8JL, Middlesex, UK.


We studied the prevalence of polypharmacy in attenders aged 75 years and over to an emergency department (ED) in North London over a period of 1 month. We identified 467 patients in this age group. Analysis of medications being prescribed revealed at least 82 patients on medication with the potential for adverse interaction. There is a need for ED-initiated strategies to identify interactions and for pathways to allow for medication review.

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