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Polypharmacy and potential drug-drug interactions among geriatric patients

Bhavisha N Vegada, Amit M Shah, Deep Shah, Karishma Mogal, Hirva Santoki, Renuka Joshi.


Background: Polypharmacy is common and increasing among geriatric patients. Polypharmacy has been strongly associated with drug-drug interactions (DDIs). Polypharmacy and DDIs represent potential health hazards for the elderly.

Aim and Objective: This study aims to analyze the polypharmacy and associated potential DDIs (pDDIs) among geriatric patients.

Materials and Methods: A total of 484 geriatric (age ≥65 years) patients, who have fulfilled the selection criteria, were included in the study. Polypharmacy was assessed from prescriptions. pDDI was assessed using computer-based checks online available on the internet.

Results: A total of 111 patients (22.93%) were prescribed ≥6 drugs simultaneously – polypharmacy. Six patients were prescribed ≥10 drugs (hyperpolypharmacy) simultaneously. A total of 191 (39.46%) prescriptions have at least one pDDI – 98 (20.24%) prescriptions, 63 (13.02%) prescriptions, and 30 (6.20%) prescriptions have 1–2 pDDI, 3–5 pDDI, and ≥6 pDDI, respectively, with total pDDIs were 578. The statistically significant association has been found between the polypharmacy and pDDI (

Key words: Polypharmacy; Potential Drug-drug Interactions; Geriatrics

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