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Clinical Consequences of Polypharmacy in the Elderly

Clinical Consequences of Polypharmacy in the Elderly

There is a growing concern in the elderly care industry for polypharmacy for older adults, and as we progress into this article, you will find out why.

What is Polypharmacy?

Polypharmacy in the dictionary is defined as the simultaneous use of multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition.

Although, researchers and home care agencies in Colorado Springs, Colorado often use the term differently. Sometimes, it’s defined as having two or more prescriptions, but for most definitions it refers to at least five.

The Dangers of Geriatric Pharmacy

Polypharmacy in geriatric patients is often necessary, but it always comes with risks. As we grow older, the organs responsible for clearing drugs from our system become less efficient at their job.

Along with the metabolic changes that come with aging, this leaves elderly people at a far greater risk of suffering a conflicting drug event, such as an unintended effect from a normal dose. Those risks only grow as the number of medications being taken increases.

An estimated 11.5 to 62.5% of elderly people are impacted by inappropriate medication usage. Many of the most common symptoms of associated with polypharmacy are often confused with the symptoms of growing old. That includes dry mouth, sleepiness, feeling less alert, loss of appetite, confusion, depression, tremors, anxiety, dizziness, and weakness.

Polypharmacy in elderly patients makes it even more important to take medications properly because there are increased risks of non-adherence. It can lead to ER visits, hospitalizations, and additional need for care.

Looking for quality home care in Colorado can reduce the chances of your loved ones to suffer from the effects of polypharmacy. We would be happy to help you in your search. By contacting us on any of our numbers, we can set an appointment and immediately address your needs and concerns. Your health solutions are just a click away!

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