A Prospective Study on Identification of Actual and Potential Drug Related Problems in Geriatric Patients: The Role of the Clinical Pharmacist
M. Nandhini*, V. Santhosh Kumar
Drug related problems can be defined as the drug therapy that potentially or actually interferes with desired health outcomes. Drug related problems are common among elderly (Geriatric) patients using multiple drugs for the treatment of chronic disease. The fact that elderly patients take more medication for the treatment of several diseases makes them more vulnerable to the occurrence of many drug related problems and also due to the physiological changes that occurs with advancing age. Drug related problems can originate when prescribing, dispensing or taking/administering drugs. Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of elderly people in the developed and as well as developing countries although the disability rates among the elderly population were declining in the developed countries but increasing in the developing countries due to limited pharmaceutical care. The increase in the life expectancy has posed one of the toughest challenges to be met by the health care professionals and by the society. As life expectancy increases, there is a need to improve the health, quality of life, discovery of new treatments, prevention strategies, improving health behaviour and medication use. In this study, drug related problems in elderly patients are being studied and pharmacist interventions are being made for better therapeutic efficacy and improved quality of life. The main aim of the study was to analyse the usage of drugs among geriatric patients and the Drug related problems associated with it. This study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital. The result of the study shows, males (62.8%) were more affected by chronic disease than females (36%). The most common drug related problem was found to be Drug interaction, Drug duplication and followed by the long duration of drugs. Patient counseling being the cause of many drug related problems were able to be rectified and also imposing to the patient the importance of compliance better therapeutic care was provided. Our study concludes that pharmacist intervention can reduce drug related problems and thereby providing better pharmaceutical care.
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