Drug prescribing patterns in elderly patients in a tertiary level hospital
Keywords:Beers, Elderly, PIMs, Polypharmacy
Background: Elderly people have multiple co morbidities and are often prescribed potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). As there is paucity of information about the prescribing practices in elderly this study was undertaken to assess drug utilization patterns in elderly patients.
Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital. A total of 576 prescriptions of elderly patients were included in the study. Prescribing patterns among elderly patients attending OPD and admitted to wards of departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, Dermatology, Pulmonary Medicine, General Surgery, E.N.T., Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology were analysed using the prescribing indicators (WHO criteria). The PIMs were identified as per the Beers 2012 criteria.
Results: The average number of drugs per patient was 3.91±1.93 for O.P.D and 7.37 ±2.22 for I.P.D. patients. 37.76% patients in I.P.D. and 26.87% patients in O.P.D. received a medication which was potentially inappropriate as per Beers 2012 criteria. 7.58% (234/3088) of total medications prescribed to patients in the study were potentially inappropriate. There was a significant increase in the number of PIMs (p value ˂0.05) as the total number of drugs prescribed increased.
Conclusions: Educational programmes are needed to reinforce rational prescribing by physicians and precautions should be taken while prescribing potentially inappropriate drugs to elderly patients.
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