Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2005 , Vol 8, Issue 3
Özlem ESKİ, Rukiye PINAR
Marmara Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Enstitüsü İSTANBUL
Marmara Üniversitesi Hemşirelik Yüksekokulu İç Hastalıkları Anabilim Dalı İSTANBUL
Background: The incidence of drug side-effects is very high in the elderly. This research was conducted with 120 elderly people with the purpose of studying and defining the patterns of misuse of cardiovascular drugs.

Patients and Methods: 458 patients who live in Nursing homes and 100 patients from the Department at Cardiology of Florence Nighingale Hospital were included. Data were collected by using a questionnaire and analysed by using SPSS.

Results: More than half of the elderly subjects (80%) were using 3 or 4 drug types concurrently. The mean number of drugs used was 3.15. Adverse effects were experienced by 29.2% of the subjects. Most common side effects were related with beta-blockers (22.9%), digitalis glycosides (18.8%), antiarrhythmics (17.2%), ACE inhibitors (13.5%) and calcium canal blocker (12.8%) consumption. It was defined that 94.3% of adverse effects was related to uncontrolled drug use and polypharmacy (P<0.01). The percentage of elderly who were not given any information about their medication was 62.5%. Most of elderly didn’t know the purpose of used medications (84.2%), adverse affects (94.2%), and interactions of their medications (95.8%). Of the subjects, 46.7% couldn’t contact with health professionals when they needed information about medications, 50% bought and continued drug intake without consulting the physician, after depleting the medications. Patients who given information on drugs were using their drugs more regularly (P<0.01) and were going the physician to consult when their drugs depleted (P<0.001). Adverse effects were slight lower in patients used their drugs regularly (P<0.05).

Conclusion: The misuse of the drugs can only be decreased by furnishing coordination among patient, physician and patients carer. Keywords : Elderly, Cardiovascular drugs, Misuse, Adverse effect, Polypharmacy