Polypharmacy in Elderly Assisted in Primary Care: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Adverse Events

  • Layane Mayara Gomes Castelo Branco Universidade de Fortaleza
  • Livia Moreira de Carvalho Rodrigues Hospital de Urgencia de Teresina
  • Socorro Milena Rocha Vasconcelos Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Cícera Jaqueline Ferreira de Lima
  • Aíka Barros Barbosa Maia Universidade Estadual do Piaui
  • Maria Nauside Pessoa da Silva Universidade Federal do Piaui


Introduction: The emergence of multi-disorders in the elderly leads to consumption of considerable amount of medications, not always prescribed by physicians.
Objective: To investigate the phenomenon of poly pharmacy in older and factors associated with it.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study conducted with 173 elderly assisted by Family Health Strategy in a Basic Health Unit Family of the Brazilian Northeast capital. The main variables of interest were: socio-demographic profile of the elderly, communication conditions, use of prescription drugs continuously, reported symptoms, medication adherence.

Results: It was noticed in the study a more marked number of women 100 (57.8%) 60-69 years old (54.3%), illiterate (47.4%) and married (60.1%). The communication conditions, was found preserved in 92.5% of the elderly. The most consumed drugs were used to treat hypertension (60.7%). The most commonly used therapeutic class was the drugs that act on the cardiovascular system (35.0%). Most of the elderly ingests more than five pills a day (58.4%). In the sample studied prevailed pyrosis (55.49%), nausea and vomiting (47.3%) as major adverse effects experienced. 74.56% of seniors take medications alone.

Conclusion: The presence of self-medication and drugs, unfit for unattended use by elderly, was found. It was identified a high vulnerability of the elderly to adverse events by inadequate usage and by identifying self-reported signs and symptoms.

Jan 9, 2017
How to Cite
BRANCO, Layane Mayara Gomes Castelo et al. Polypharmacy in Elderly Assisted in Primary Care: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Adverse Events. International Archives of Medicine, [S.l.], v. 9, jan. 2017. ISSN 1755-7682. Available at: <http://imed.pub/ojs/index.php/iam/article/view/1956>. Date accessed: 24 july 2021. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3823/2253.
Primary Care


Primary Health Care; Elderly; Drugs; Adverse events.