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Assignment: Use of Multiple Drugs

Assignment: Use of Multiple Drugs

Assignment: Use of Multiple Drugs

NOW FOR AN ORIGINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT:Assignment: Use of Multiple Drugs

Students will outline what they have discovered about their professional practice, personal strengths and weaknesses that surfaced, additional resources and abilities that could be introduced to a given situation to influence optimal outcomes, and finally, how the student met the competencies aligned to this course.

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Polypharmacy is an area of concern for many patients, especially the elderly.  Elderly patients are at a greater risk for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) because of the reduced drug clearance associated with aging and because of metabolic changes (Boris, Cafiero & Smith, 2014).  Some risk factors associated with polypharmacy are potential of drug-drug interactions because it is further increased by use of multiple drugs.  Another risk factor is hip fractures, associated with adverse drug reactions and losing balance or fainting (Boris, Cafiero & Smith, 2014).  Polypharmacy may sometimes lead to “prescribing cascades.”4 Prescribing cascade is said when signs and symptoms (multiple and nonspecific) of an ADR is misinterpreted as a disease and a new treatment/drug therapy is further added to the earlier prescribed treatment to treat the condition (Piere & Farrell, 2012).

In my practice working with the elderly population, to reduce the incidence of polypharmacy medication, patients are evaluated on a monthly basis.  Additionally, a single drug is be prescribed instead of multiple drugs for the treatment of a single condition, if possible.  Another strategy we use is staring medication with the lower drug dosage and slowly increasing as indicated.

A strategy that seems to be effective, according to research, is prescribe drugs that can be given once or twice a day instead of prescribing drugs that require to be taken three times a day (Thomas, Liao, & McCliar, 2016).  The reasoning behind this is to lower the risk of forgetting to take the medication or taking the medication together with other drugs.