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