Journal of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management 2015. 1(1/2):10-13.

Assessing the Medicines Use in the Elderly: A New Approach to Promote Rational Medicine Use in this Group
Fatemeh Soleymani, Nikinaz Ashrafi, Arash Tehrani-banihashemi, Nooshin Mohammad-Hosseini, Fariba Ahmadizar, Kheirollah Gholami


Background: Elderly are prone to many acute and chronic age-related diseases, which needed multiple medicine usage. Therefore, evaluation of medicine use pattern in this group is very important and a significant issue in public health system policy.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional household survey conducted in 20 clusters of Tehran. Each cluster consists of 40 households who had at least one person over the 60 years old. Different medicine items used by the individuals over 60 years old were asked and recorded by the interviewers.

Results: A total of 1054 men and women over 60 years old were enrolled to the study. About 49.4% were male and 50.6% were female. About 69% of the study population used at least one medicine per day regularly, and 46.2% used to consume medicines as self-medication. Mean items per prescription were 3.57 for patients who used medicines regularly every day. The most frequent medicines used in this group were cardiovascular (68.6%) and central nervous system medicines (61.7%). Aspirin 80 mg, atenolol, and calcium-D were the most frequent medicines used regularly, but not daily. Acetaminophen 325 mg and acetaminophen codeine were the most frequent self-medications.

Conclusion: Since elderly people may have multiple comorbidities, which require poly-pharmacy use. Also, due to the high prevalence of drug use without prescription among this group of people, which was about 46% in our study, it is crucial that physicians and other health care providers consider the risk of adverse drug reactions and drug interactions in each visit of the patient.


Medicine, elderly, drug use, poly-pharmacy

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