Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2021 , Vol 24, Issue 2
Memet Taşkın EGİCİ1, Hasan BAĞCI2, Nermin GÜREL3
1University of Health Sciences Turkey, Haydarpasa Numune Training and Research Hospital, Department of Family Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
2Yuksek Ihtisas University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health Care Management, Ankara, Turkey
3University of Health Sciences Turkey, Istanbul Prof. Dr. Cemil Tascioglu City Hospital, Department of Pharmacology, İstanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2021.207 Introduction: In Turkey, long-term medication use reports help patients covered by universal health insurance to access drugs without having to make co-payments. Using these reports, the present study investigates the prevalence of polypharmacy and specifically, its relationship with age, gender, diagnosis, number of diseases, and various clinical branches.

Materials and Methods: In this descriptive retrospective study, anonymous data obtained from long-term medication use reports were analyzed using SPSS and Microsoft Excel.

Results: A total of 66,995 samples were examined, 60.7% of which were female patients. The average number of active substances was 2.78 ± 2.11, the rate of reports containing five or more active substances (polypharmacy) was 16.1% (10.757 samples), the distribution by gender was 62.7% female and 37.3% male. The distribution of polypharmacy by age groups was 60.1% in the 65-74 age group, 32.5% in the 74-85 age group, and 7.4% in the ?85 age group. The most common diagnoses were diabetes mellitus (37.8%), hypertension (12.9%), and hyperlipidemia (8.2%). The clinical branches accounting for the highest rate of polypharmacy were internal medicine (65.1%), cardiology (10%), and chest diseases (6.1%). Acetylsalicylic acid was the most prescribed substance (12.3%) among 657 active substances.

Conclusion: The results of this study can be used by regulatory authorities and in clinical practice by physicians. Using a clinical decision system supported by guidelines can help clinicians to optimize drug therapy and reduce polypharmacy in older adults. To reduce inappropriate drug use, such as the Beers, STOPP-START, and TIME criteria were recommended to be used in decision support systems. Keywords : Aged; Chronic Diseases; Multimorbidity; Polypharmacy; Prescriptions