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      Drug-related problems in hospitalized patients on polypharmacy: the influence of age and gender

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          Abstract

          Background

          Drug-related problems (DRPs) have been shown to prevail in hospitalized patients, and polypharmacy and increasing age have been identified as two important risk factors.

          Objective

          We investigated the occurrence of DRPs and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) amongst hospitalized patients prescribed polypharmacy, and the association of advanced age and female gender.

          Method

          A retrospective cross-sectional study was performed in an acute-care hospital in Singapore. Only patients prescribed polypharmacy were included. Mann-Whitney test was used to test for significant difference between the age and gender of patients and their risk of acquiring DRPs. The relative risks of developing DRP and ADR for geriatric patients and female patients were estimated.

          Results

          Of 347 patients prescribed polypharmacy (43% female and 58.2% geriatrics), no statistical correlations were observed between age and gender with developing DRPs. An increased number of medications was associated with higher risk for patients with DRPs on admission (p = 0.001), but not for inpatients with DRPs (p = 0.119). Results from patients with ADRs showed that the relative risk (RR) of geriatrics prescribed polypharmacy and major polypharmacy (10 and more drugs) were 1.01 and 1.23, respectively. Female patients had a RR of 0.79 compared with male patients in developing ADRs.

          Conclusion

          Results showed that among patients with polypharmacy, age and gender may not be as important as number of drugs prescribed as predictors of experiencing a DRP. A similar trend was observed in the development of ADRs.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Prediction of creatinine clearance from serum creatinine.

          A formula has been developed to predict creatinine clearance (Ccr) from serum creatinine (Scr) in adult males: (see article)(15% less in females). Derivation included the relationship found between age and 24-hour creatinine excretion/kg in 249 patients aged 18-92. Values for Ccr were predicted by this formula and four other methods and the results compared with the means of two 24-hour Ccr's measured in 236 patients. The above formula gave a correlation coefficient between predicted and mean measured Ccr's of 0.83; on average, the difference predicted and mean measured values was no greater than that between paired clearances. Factors for age and body weight must be included for reasonable prediction.
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            Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: a meta-analysis of prospective studies.

            To estimate the incidence of serious and fatal adverse drug reactions (ADR) in hospital patients. Four electronic databases were searched from 1966 to 1996. Of 153, we selected 39 prospective studies from US hospitals. Data extracted independently by 2 investigators were analyzed by a random-effects model. To obtain the overall incidence of ADRs in hospitalized patients, we combined the incidence of ADRs occurring while in the hospital plus the incidence of ADRs causing admission to hospital. We excluded errors in drug administration, noncompliance, overdose, drug abuse, therapeutic failures, and possible ADRs. Serious ADRs were defined as those that required hospitalization, were permanently disabling, or resulted in death. The overall incidence of serious ADRs was 6.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2%-8.2%) and of fatal ADRs was 0.32% (95% CI, 0.23%-0.41%) of hospitalized patients. We estimated that in 1994 overall 2216000 (1721000-2711000) hospitalized patients had serious ADRs and 106000 (76000-137000) had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death. The incidence of serious and fatal ADRs in US hospitals was found to be extremely high. While our results must be viewed with circumspection because of heterogeneity among studies and small biases in the samples, these data nevertheless suggest that ADRs represent an important clinical issue.
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              Explicit criteria for determining potentially inappropriate medication use by the elderly. An update.

              This study updates and expands explicit criteria defining potentially inappropriate medication use by the elderly. Additional goals were to address whether adverse outcomes were likely to be clinically severe and to incorporate clinical information on diagnoses when available. These criteria are meant to serve epidemiological studies, drug utilization review systems, health care providers, and educational efforts. Consensus from a panel of 6 nationally recognized experts on the appropriate use of medication in the elderly was sought. The expert panel agreed on the validity of 28 criteria describing the potentially inappropriate use of medication by general populations of the elderly as well as 35 criteria defining potentially inappropriate medication use in older persons known to have any of 15 common medical conditions. Updated, expanded, and more generally applicable criteria are now available to help identify inappropriate use of medications in elderly populations. These criteria define medications that should generally be avoided in the ambulatory elderly, doses or frequencies of administrations that should generally not be exceeded, and medications that should be avoided in older persons known to have any of several common conditions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                March 2005
                March 2005
                : 1
                : 1
                : 39-48
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore Republic of Singapore
                [2 ]Alexandra Hospital Republic of Singapore
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Shu Chuen Li, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, 18 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543, Republic of Singapore Tel +65 6874 6537 Fax +65 6779 1554 Email phalisc@ 123456nus.edu.sg
                Article
                1661606
                18360542
                © 2005 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                Categories
                Original Research

                Medicine

                drug-related problems, geriatrics, polypharmacy, adverse drug reactions

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