So, let's talk about polypharmacy in relation to geriatrics and how it's detrimental to our way of care…

Do you have a family member, a loved one, a coworker, and/or a friend who is 60 years old and above and has a lot of medication in their dresser right now?

According to statistics, the use of one or more prescription drugs is more common among adults aged 60-79 compared with those aged 40-59. 

This, in and of itself, usually leads to a growing concern called polypharmacy.

In layman's terms, polypharmacy is when an individual is given lots of medications (five and above) that are to be taken all at the same time. And although commonly believed to be normal, the truth is, it's detrimental, especially to our elderly. If not managed correctly, these people will have increased chances of dying. 

But we don't want that to happen, so sit back and relax as I present to you a discussion about this concern. Together, let us discover how we can help prevent further complications for those involved.

Why you need to check out this episode:

  • Find out what polypharmacy is and how it affects people's overall health and well-being, especially the elderly
  • Discover the reasons for polypharmacy, as well as the strategies for prevention and management; and
  • Understand how important it is to work with those involved in order to provide the best care for the patients

“In the medication that they are, they are at an increased risk to have drug-drug interaction; they are at an increased risk to have medication non-compliance. So, you need to, as the doctor, try to figure out a way. ‘Is there a way I can help this person?” – Dr. Berry Pierre

Topics Covered:

00:00 – On today's episode: Polypharmacy in geriatrics and why it's detrimental to our way of care

02:06 – The Medication Maze: Defining what polypharmacy is

03:57 – Health outcomes and associated risks: Exploring the perils of polypharmacy

06:10 – From a demographic perspective: The impact on older people's lifespan, from 1920 to 2020

07:32 – The facts and numbers: What we know about polypharmacy

09:06 – Getting older faster: Looking at the population growth over the last 100 years

11:14 – The top 4 diagnoses in the United States

12:03 – Then to now: Understanding the reasons for polypharmacy

13:23 – The issues to deal with: Talking about the risks and consequences

15:05 – What do we need to do to identify polypharmacy?

17:17 – The clinical implications: Problems that could arise if we don't do anything

18:05 – For the doctors and patients: The strategies for prevention and management

19:45 – Interprofessional collaboration: Working with other team members to make sure we're doing the best for our patients

20:43 – Case study: Examples of polypharmacy scenarios showing how it's the recipe for disaster

26:35 – A message for the listeners

Notable Quotes:

“We are getting older. And if we are getting older, you best believe problems can arise.” – Dr. Berry Pierre

“Let's pump the breaks here—we are not only getting older; we are getting older faster over the last 100 years.” – Dr. Berry Pierre

“Because we're getting older, our diseases are getting older with us. So, we're having to deal with high blood pressure longer; we're having to deal with high cholesterol longer. We're having to deal with all of these things much longer than expected.” – Dr. Berry Pierre

“You need to have one central person who, even if they're not the one person who prescribes all these medications, they're the one person who knows about these medications.” – Dr. Berry Pierre

“An engaged patient is a compliant patient.” – Dr. Berry Pierre

Let’s Connect:  

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