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Rizwana P.*, Arifa V. M. and Shafeena T.


Polypharmacy is the concurrent use of multiple medications by a patient. A drug-drug interaction (DDI) is defined as a decrease or increase in the clinical effect of a given drug due to interference by another drug, food, herbs, formulation excipients, containers, or environmental factors (such as tobacco). Polypharmacy being most common cause of initiation of DDIs and hence wide range of drugs have been prescribed to the patients that has become major reason why patients who need intensive care are always more prone to develop several drug- drug interactions. The study aim to evaluate polypharmacy and drug-drug interaction among elderly in the general medicine department of a tertiary care hospital. A prospective cross sectional study was carried out in General medicine department from February 2018 to August 2018, to elderly patients. A total of 137 elderly patients in general medicine department were enrolled in the study, prescriptions were analyzed for drug-drug interactions and Polypharmacy. Micromedex (version no: 1.61.4b4035) was used to check the drug-drug interactions. The number of drug interactions were propotional to number of drugs prescribed ie as the number of drug increases then number of interactions also increases. The study reveals that nearly two-third of elderly patients are exposed to atleast one DDIs. Identifying and preventing potentially harmful DDIs is a critical component of a pharmacist’s mission. To improve drug safety in elderly patients appropriate prescribing is very important.

Keywords: Drug-Drug interaction, Polypharmacy, Elderly patients.

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