Polypharmacy is the simultaneous use of several drugs and is mainly defined as the consumption of at least five drugs simultaneously. The problem is common, especially for patients dealing with chronic diseases and among the elderly.
MS patients are at high risk for drug multiplication, because in addition to drugs that change the course of the disease, many people take drugs to treat the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and / or to treat related diseases. As the number of drugs increases, so does the risk of potential drug-drug reactions.
Interactions between drugs may lead to a change in drug efficacy, affecting treatment outcomes and side effects.
A team of researchers from Germany examined the prevalence and severity of drug reactions for patients with MS.
The researchers entered drug data from 627 patients into two databases, on drug-drug responses.
The results of a recent study published in the scientific journal Pharmaceutics demonstrated that on average, each patient took 5.3 drugs. 63.8% of patients had at least one drug-drug response with an average of 4.6 such responses per patient, most of them mild. Less than 4% of patients had moderate to severe drug-drug reactions.
The researchers recommended that physicians and pharmacists be more sensitive to the issue and try to avoid drug-drug interactions. In addition, the researchers believe the patient also has a responsibility to inform the attending physician about any medications they are taking, including over-the-counter medications that do not require a medical prescription.
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