Polypharmacy – we make it worse! A cross‐sectional study from an acute admissions unit

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Although polypharmacy is a major problem in the elderly, very few data have been published from Australasia. We retrospectively audited 68% of elderly patients admitted acutely to our medical unit (n= 424, mean age 80.3 ± 8 years) during a 30‐day period (September, 2008). We found that long‐term medications increased during hospital stay from 6.6 ± 4 to 7.7 ± 4 (P < 0.001). Adverse drug reactions were responsible for 24 admissions (5.7%). Polypharmacy is made worse by acute admission to hospital.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02690.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of General Medicine, Christchurch Hospital 2: Department of Medicine, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Otago University, Christchurch, New Zealand

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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