Polypharmacy among the elderly in the Republic of Srpska : extent and implications for the future

Marković-Peković, Vanda and Škrbić, Ranko and Petrović, Aleksandar and Vlahović-Palčevski, Vera and Mrak, Jana and Bennie, Marion and Fadare, Joseph and Kwon, Hye-Young and Schiffers, Krijn and Truter, Ilse and Godman, Brian (2015) Polypharmacy among the elderly in the Republic of Srpska : extent and implications for the future. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. ISSN 1473-7167 (https://doi.org/10.1586/14737167.2016.1115347)

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Prescribing of medicines is a fundamental component of care for the elderly. However, increasing concern with polypharmacy and its impact on morbidity, mortality and costs. Analyze long-term prescription use and the prevalence of polypharmacy in the elderly in the Republic of Srpska. Subsequently use the findings to suggest potential future measures. Retrospective study of all elderly patients 2005 to 2010 stratified by age group (3 groups), sex and long term medicine use. Polypharmacy (5 or more medicines) increased from 1.4% of the elderly taking medicines long term to 3.6% by 2010, with 53.6% of elderly taking 2 or more medicines long term. Most prevalent diseases were cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Most prescriptions were in accordance with recent guidelines. However, concern with appreciable prescribing of digoxin and aminophylline. Whilst polypharmacy rates low in the Republic, increasing rates are a concern. Further studies are planned.