Tests for older patients may help reduce the number of medications prescribed to them, a new RCSI study suggests.
According to the results of a new Irish study, it is possible to reduce the number of drugs prescribed to the elderly, which could reduce medical costs and improve the lives of people with multiple prescriptions.
Researchers at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences examined the potential benefits of a general practitioner’s medication review for reducing the number of medications prescribed to elderly patients with multiple health conditions, known as multimorbidity name.
The RCSI study noted that there are a growing number of older people with multimorbidity who are prescribed multiple medications, which can pose challenges for patients, caregivers, the healthcare system, and clinicians deciding what to do next. ‘must take.
The research consisted of a drug review between older patients regularly taking at least 15 different drugs and their GP. This review, including scouring the patient’s prescriptions for potentially inappropriate combinations, examined opportunities to discontinue drugs and assessed treatment priorities.
The study involved a randomized controlled trial with 51 GP practices and 404 patients across the Republic of Ireland.
The result was a significant reduction in the number of drugs prescribed to people in the study, with few side effects. Over 800 different drugs were discontinued in 208 intervention patients, with 15 adverse events reported.
“It is possible that identifying this risk group with at least 15 drugs prescribed has in itself improved prescribing,” noted study co-author Dr. Caroline McCarthy.
“It can be intimidating for GPs with limited time and resources to actively manage these prescriptions, and patients can also be wary of change, especially if they have been on a medication for a long time. “
Almost all of the side effects in the study were mild and ended after the drug was reintroduced, the researchers found.
“The intervention approach to manage this difficult problem is promising and demonstrates that, even in this very complex group, stopping drugs that may no longer be needed or appropriate is both possible and generally safe,” added co-author Professor Susan Smith.
The research was funded by the Health Research Board’s Primary Care Clinical Trials Network.
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