Management in Health, Vol 26, No 1 (2022)

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Hektor SULA, Gentiana QIRJAKO, Suela KËLLIÇI, Arvin DIBRA, Xheladin DRACINI


The use of medicines, besides the positive effects, may also be associated with side effects. The use of several drugs simultaneously relates to the concept of polypharmacy, the higher the number of drugs used, the higher the likelihood of adverse effects occurring during the treatment. Problems encountered due to polypharmacy with regard to causes or mechanisms are considered multi-factorial. The incorrect behavior of patients toward the physician recommendations on the drug therapy is named as lack of adherence to the drug therapy.

The incidence of polypharmacy increases with age. Polypharmacy may be more common in some patient groups such as the elderly, nephropaths, patients with hepatic pathology or patients with mental disorders, etc. In hospital settings, polypharmacy has been considered a predisposing factor in the manifestation of problems related to the drug use. The effect of polypharmacy on surgical interventions, more specifically anesthesia, relates to the elderly population undergoing surgery, which has the tendency to increase in the coming years. Polypharmacy seems to have a negative role in the drug-to-drug interaction effects and on the reactions that may occur in the perioperative period in the high risk peroperatively evaluated patients; therefore, a great deal of attention should be paid to the careful evaluation of the associated pathologies and the taylor-fit adaptation of the therapy to the elderly patient undergoing surgery.

Physicians need to treat polypharmacy patients, especially the elderly, very carefully, requiring patient collaboration, beginning with information sharing, selection, application and follow-up of therapy. Proper implementation of such measures can have a positive impact on avoiding or minimizing side effects and complications of drugs used in the context of polypharmacy.


Keywords: polypharmacy, comorbidity, treatment.

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Journal published by SNSPMS