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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 3111-3115

Characterization of potentially inappropriate medication prescriptions for the elderly in primary care and hospital settings

1 Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Assistant Professor College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adel F Yasky
Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_271_21

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Background: Polypharmacy cannot be defined numerically due to its varied definitions, and inclusion of comorbidities aggravates the dilemma, creating challenges for the healthcare system and the patients' course of treatment. The introduction of the potentially inappropriate medication (PIM) list developed by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) (AGS Beers Criteria®; updated in 2019) was deemed a solution. However, several risk factors are associated with PIMs, including increased emergency room visits, hospitalization and mortality, and a decline in daily activity. Differences in PIM prescription rates have been reported; however, with the recent Beers criteria update, the number of patients exposed to PIMs is expected to increase significantly due to the addition of new medications to the list. Objectives: This study aimed to describe the characteristics of PIM prescriptions for the elderly in primary care and hospital settings. Methods: Medications for elderly patients prescribed in our hospital between 2016 and 2019 were reviewed and sorted based on Beers criteria to identify patients with the most PIMs. Correlations were made between gender and facility. Results: This study included 40,168 patients (51% males). The total and average numbers of PIM per elderly patient were 260,753 and 6.5, respectively. Proton pump inhibitors were prescribed the most, followed by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Conclusions: We found that increasing numbers of PIMs are prescribed to the elderly in our healthcare facilities. Therefore, further recommendations from local geriatric communities and the implementation of reminders for physicians through electronic prescription systems are needed to decrease the rate of prescribed PIMs.

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