Dangers of Polypharmacy [chapter]

Pamela L. Valenza, Thomas C. McGinley, James Feldman, Pritiben Patel, Kristine Cornejo, Najmus Liang, Roopa Anmolsingh, Noble McNaughton
2017 Vignettes in Patient Safety - Volume 1  
Although the deinition of polypharmacy has evolved over time, it has been and remains to be an issue in healthcare. With the prevalence of polypharmacy increasing, those in the health care ield must remain vigilant of the adverse efects of medications and work to coordinate care and maintain appropriate prescribing practices. Here we present a clinical vignete that describes an encounter of a patient on multiple medications and the individual, provider, and systems-level issues that may have
more » ... tributed to an adverse event resulting in a hospital stay. We will discuss the deinition of polypharmacy, review the prevalence and economic implications of drug prescription practices, and examine the consequences and complications of polypharmacy in a number of diferent patient populations. We will discuss a number of scenarios involving polypharmacy that lead to medication errors, decreased quality of life, and patient harm, and then review evidencebased methods of interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence of polypharmacy and its associated complications.
doi:10.5772/intechopen.69169 fatcat:3rhba5o4rfbjheauc54evqteou