Medication Management: A Case of Brown Bag-Identified Medication Hoarding

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Abstract:

A 91-year-old woman living independently in the community presented along with her son for a medication therapy management (MTM) appointment with the clinical pharmacist at the University of Colorado Hospital Seniors Clinic. The purpose of the visit was to review the patient's medications, perform medication reconciliation, and identify ways to increase proper medication management. As requested for the MTM appointment, the patient and her son brought in several large bags of her over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications from her home, including those that she was not currently taking. The clinical pharmacist reviewed the medications and found multiple instances of duplicate therapies, nonadherence, discrepancies in her medication regimen, cost concerns, and other drug-therapy problems. In addition, the pharmacist's evaluation showed that the patient had been hoarding more than 100 medications, which increased her risk for drug-related problems. Most of the OTC and some prescription medications were voluntarily removed from the patient's possession to reduce the likelihood of potential overuse of medications.

The pharmacist educated the patient and her son regarding her updated medication list and how to properly manage her medications. Finally, the patient's son volunteered to help his mother with medication management or hire someone to assist her. This case demonstrates the usefulness of requesting all medications—including OTC and prescription, active and inactive medications—be brought to the MTM appointment.

The case also supports the need for family support for older adults struggling with managing polypharmacy.
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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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