• "Take ten minutes": a dedicated ten minute medication review reduces polypharmacy in the elderly.

      Walsh, E K; Cussen, K; General Practice Training Unit, Waterford Regional Hospital, Dunmore Rd,, Waterford. elbreathnach@hotmail.com (2012-02-01)
      Multiple and inappropriate medications are often the cause for poor health status in the elderly. Medication reviews can improve prescribing. This study aimed to determine if a ten minute medication review by a general practitioner could reduce polypharmacy and inappropriate prescribing in elderly patients. A prospective, randomised study was conducted. Patients over the age of 65 (n = 50) underwent a 10-minute medication review. Inappropriate medications, dosage errors, and discrepancies between prescribed versus actual medication being consumed were recorded. A questionnaire to assess satisfaction was completed following review. The mean number of medications taken by patients was reduced (p < 0.001). A medication was stopped in 35 (70%) patients. Inappropriate medications were detected in 27 (54%) patients and reduced (p < 0.001). Dose errors were detected in 16 (32%). A high level of patient satisfaction was reported. A ten minute medication review reduces polypharmacy, improves prescribing and is associated with high levels of patient satisfaction.