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Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Químico - Farmacéuticas

Print version ISSN 0034-7418On-line version ISSN 1909-6356


FAJRELDINES, Ana Virginia et al. Polymedication, inappropriate prescription and adverse events to drugs in hospitalized elderly: a patient safety problem. Rev. colomb. cienc. quim. farm. [online]. 2021, vol.50, n.2, pp.522-532.  Epub Nov 05, 2021. ISSN 0034-7418.


Life expectancy has been increasing and the possibility of suffering from one or more chronic pathologies, for example, diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, etc. is high. The response to medications in older adults is markedly different than in non-elderly adults since it is an organism where the direct consequences of aging are relevant (reduction of the metabolic capacity of the liver, reduction of the filtering capacity of the kidney, hypochlorhydria, among others).


To analyze polypharmacy, inappropriate prescription, and adverse events in hospitalized older adults.

Materials and methods:

Descriptive cross-sectional study. Results: 318 patients were studied. The frequency of polymedicated patients was 89 % (283). Inappropriate prescription, 18.9 %. The drugs most present in the regimens of polymedicated patients were benzodiazepines, NSAIDs, anticoagulants and antihypertensives. Patients with adverse events have been 179 (56.3 %), of that percentage 30.2 % (54) have received treatment with another drug to resolve the event produced by a drug, which is the so-called prescription or prescription cascade.


Polypharmacy is high and causes adverse events, it is necessary to insist on comprehensive work to reduce this health problem.

Keywords : Polypharmacy; hospitalized elderly; inappropriate prescription; adverse drug events.

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