Topic: Health & MedicineNursing

Last updated: March 20, 2019

IntroductionOlder adults make up a population group that increases every day, which is more vulnerable to getting sick or in fact has chronic noncommunicable diseases that require the use of one or several medications and that is when they suffer the phenomenon of polypharmacy involving the use of multiple pharmacological preparations prescribed or not that together with care, incontinence, and dementia is one of the great challenges of Geriatric Medicine (Charlesworth, MIT, Lee, Alramadhan,& Odden,2015).

Elderly patients have three main characteristics that differentiate it from other ethereal groups: Chronic diseases, polypharmacy and physiological changes related to aging that alter the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications. These three factors make the drug interaction that can go unnoticed in a young patient, in the older adult it manifests as an adverse reaction, which is the best of cases, if detected as such, can be corrected, but most of the time it is erroneously interpreted as worsening of the disease, poor adherence to treatment or ineffectiveness of any of the indicated drugs (Lavan, Gallagher, & O’Mahony, 2016).By 2050, the population age 65 and over in the United States is expected to reach 83.7 million, almost double the 2012 (Brown,2016). One of the major concerns about this problem is the increased risk of mortality among the adult population and increasing the number of visits to emergency services, hospitalizations, and hospital readmissions. Other major complications are the risk of falls, hip fractures, aspiration cases of pneumonia and increased incidence of delirium among these patients. However, the magnitude of the problem among older adults is still poorly understood in most countries. Is well known in the literature that polypharmacy increases the use of inappropriate medications, leading to underutilization of essential drugs for the appropriate control of prevailing conditions in older adults.

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Adverse drug reactions are among the leading causes of morbidity and lethality in many countries. The drugs that cause more adverse reactions or problems related to medications are antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, analgesics, sedatives within others. Inadequate prescription in elderly patients is one of the problems of the first magnitude of our National Health System for the health impact that has, in addition to those that exist in the economic field. The adequacy of the prescription and detection of inadequate prescription can be evaluated through the periodic and systematic review of pharmacological treatments (Cooper, et al, 2015).The drug-surveillance knowledge in nursing staff, doctors and caregivers of patients in geriatric age is of vital importance since these patients are carriers of several diseases that are usually taxed by treatment and sometimes go to health institutions with polypharmacy It does not always represent the current state of the elderly. It is necessary to create other strategies with the aim of stimulating a rational and safe prescription of medicines in the elderly.

While it is true that the nurse plays a major role in educating older adults about the drugs they take and in addition to supervision, it is the doctor’s responsibility to make a good anamnesis before prescribing a medication and improve communication with their peers to avoid duplicity of drugs and continuously work as a multidisciplinary team. In this study, it is proposed to evaluate the status of the drug-surveillance and geriatric posology in order to prevent the inappropriate use of drugs (Lavan, Gallagher, & O’Mahony, 2016).


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