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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-9

Prevalence of polypharmacy: Comparing the status of Indian states

1 Centre for Public Health and Healthcare Administration, Eternal University, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Psychology, Eternal University, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Priya Sharma
Centre for Public Health and Healthcare Administration, Eternal University, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCFM.IJCFM_10_19

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Introduction: The word “poly” is Greek and means many or much. However, the term polypharmacy has been given definitions connected both to the use of more than a certain number of drugs concomitantly and to the clinical appropriateness of drug use. Polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications by a patient, generally older adults (those aged 60 or over 65 years). More specifically, it is often defined as the use of 5 or more regular medications. It sometimes alternatively refers to purportedly excessive or unnecessary prescriptions. The term polypharmacy lacks a universally consistent definition with an increasing share of population in this age group, it is natural to expect an increase in the problems associated with them as well. Health problems are supposed to be the major concern of this section of the society, and it is reported that use of medications has increased significantly among the elderly in the last decade. Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of polypharmacy among elderly patients in different Indian states, to make a comparison, and also to study the patterns of polypharmacy and its associated aspects. Materials and Methods: Literature review comprising of original articles, reviews, and case studies was studied to identify articles which correspond to research done on polypharmacy in various different ways published between the years 2010 and 2018. As the review focuses on the geriatric population, so considerable data were searched and collected for the use of medication in geriatrics to assess what makes them prone to polypharmacy, what pattern of polypharmacy they follow, and how they are affected by the consequences. Results: Uttaranchal, Karnataka, and Telangana reported a higher level of polypharmacy with 93.14%, 84.6%, and 82.8%, respectively, whereas Andaman and Nicobar Islands (2%) and West Bengal (5.82%) showed the lowest polypharmacy. Conclusion: Overall comparisons made show that there are more studies needed to assess the level of polypharmacy and ways and measures should be incorporated by the government in states showing high polypharmacy.

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