I work with patients, nurses, doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals everyday who struggle with medication management. One of the biggest problems I run into is polypharmacy. Ten, twenty, even sometimes up to 30+ medications is something I come across on a daily basis. Here is my top ten ways that healthcare professionals can help minimize polypharmacy.
1. Thou shalt not start, ask for, dispense, or administer a medication without reviewing a medication list that is accurate, up to date, and complete with over-the counter medications and supplements
2. Thou shalt consider utilizing non-drug approaches and interventions to solve patient problems before initiating medication
3. Thou shalt assess if a medication is effective before adding a new medication for the same condition
4. Thou shalt consider any new symptom is an adverse effect of another medication until proved otherwise
5. Thou shalt not start a medication without an appropriate indication and assessing appropriate lab work
6. Thou shalt identify limits for medications not intended for chronic use as well as not continue a medication indefinitely for symptoms that have an expected short duration
7. Thou shalt not start a medication from a similar medication class without appropriate rationale
8. Thou shalt not initiate a medication without considering medications that may treat duplicate conditions – Kill two birds with one stone
9. Thou shalt consider eliminating or reducing medications at every medication review
10. Thou shalt be willing to accept risk in discontinuing a medication if they were willing to accept the risk of initiating a medication
Thanks for reading! I’m giving away a 6 page PDF on 30 medication mistakes I see in my practice as a clinical pharmacaist, please take advantage of the free and unique opportunity!