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Hu Li Za Zhi. 2014 Jun;61(3):97-104. doi: 10.6224/JN.61.3.97.

[Polypharmacy issues in older adults].

[Article in Chinese; Abstract available in Chinese from the publisher]

Author information

1
Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, USA.
2
Department of Nursing, HungKuang University, Taiwan, ROC.
3
Department of Nursing, HungKuang University, Taiwan, ROC. lchiang@hk.edu.tw.

Abstract

in English, Chinese

Polypharmacy is a major concern in the care of older adults. People over 65 years of age frequently have multiple medical conditions and may have cancer, which requires multiple medications for treatment. The use of multiple medications increases the risk of drug-drug interactions, non-adherence, and adverse drug reactions. Polypharmacy is a term that refers to a high number of prescribed medications, usually five and above, or the use of more medications than is clinically justified. Although medications are an important factor in improving and maintaining the quality of life of older adults, polypharmacy increases the risks of morbidity and mortality, loss of functional independence, and a multiplicity of cognitive and physical problems in this population. This article examines issues related to polypharmacy in older adults and identifies nursing strategies and interventions to detect and prevent polypharmacy. Nursing strategies discussed include: (1) increasing patient knowledge of pharmacological issues, (2) increasing patient medication management competency, (3) promoting safe patient medication practices, and (4) enhancing patient education. Nurses must be familiar with medicine regimens, understand the primary factors that affect adherence, and participate in continuing education to enhance their ability to safeguard older adult patients.

KEYWORDS:

older adults; polypharmacy

PMID:
24899563
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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