Common Risk Factors for Polypharmacy

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Common Risk Factors for Polypharmacy


Multimorbodity refers to the co – occurrence of two or more chronic conditions. Individuals aged 70 years and above are most likely to suffer from chronic illnesses that come with old age. In regards to polypharmacy, research has shown that patients who have eight or more diagnosed diseases are at the highest risk for polypharmacy (Ersoy & Engin, 2018).


Frailty refers to a clinical syndrome especially in older adults that carries increased risk for decline in health and proper functioning of the body. Frailty predisposes older people to polypharmacy due to the multiple chronic illnesses they may be suffering from, thus the need for medication for each illness (Hovstadius & Petersson, 2016).

Nurses are better placed to identify the patients at risk for polypharmacy as well as to educate the patients and their families on risk reduction (Willie, 2019).In my clinical practice, I would employ strategies that would help the patients to manage their medications and prevent polypharmacy. For instance, I would discuss with the patients, the need for keeping an accurate list for all the medications they are taking including both over the counter and prescription. I would also advise them to record the medication names, the dosing frequency of the prescribed dosage and the reason for prescription.

In addition, I would advise the patients to identify and use one pharmacy which to obtain their medications which is important in ensuring that they get the correct dosage as well as reduce the possibility of adverse effects of drugs and interactions (Willie, 2019). Additionally, I would caution them on adhering to their medication in addition to ensuring that they take only the medicine that have been prescribed for them without sharing with others or saving them to use at a later date. I would also help the patients in the establishment of memory aids that would help them to remember to take their doses without fail.


Polypharmacy will be the usage of a number of different medications by an individual. It’s a typical act which is now practiced by the aged individuals but gets to generate much more damage than good. Polypharmacy is related with numerous unwanted effects on the patient. The risks include greater healthcare cost and increased danger of negative drug events, generally known to us ADEs (Duerden et al., 2013).

Increased healthcare costs: It’s been mentioned that polypharmacy is related elevated outpatient trips. This has hospitalization which results to increased healthcare price for the individuals. The medications which the individuals snap aren’t provided cost-free (Holmes, 2012). Consequently, they’ve to invest additional cash which they didn’t for to obtain the medications they would like. Thus, that raises the original quantity of expense that they had been using on drugs. The greater number of medications you decide to use, the greater number of cash you invest on medications.

Adverse drug events (ADE): Research done in 2005 proved that more than 4.3 million folks check out the healthcare because of problems of ADE. The majority of this particular cases are deemed to be from individuals that use much more five distinct kinds of medicines. Thus, the individual take more medicines believing that they will be helped by it, though they wind up heading to the hospital due to the medications they shoot that have been designed to assist them obtain perfectly (Holmes, 2012).

As a nurse practitioner pupil, I’d choose that aged individuals have being examined often. Doctors and nurses must recommend one medication to an individual rather than offering them a lot of medicines for only one problem (Duerden et al., 2013). One more thing is the fact that medication must be given to start from probably the lowest. For instance, a medication which may receive when one day really should be chosen with a drug which is provided 3 times one day.

To conclude, identifying polypharmacy is able to help to get much better results in the aged individuals consequently, can help enhance the lifetime of the individuals. To review the medicine of the individuals may additionally assist the aged individuals to stay away from the results of utilizing a variety of prescriptions (polypharmacy) (Duerden et al., 2013).
–Use at least 2 evidenced-based, peer-reviewed references no older than 5 years. APA 6th format.

–This the original homework if you needed:

  • Discuss two (2) common risk factors for polypharmacy. Give rationale for each identified risk factor.
  • Discuss two interventions you can take as a Nurse Practitioner in your clinical practice to prevent polypharmacy and its complications.
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