Bohemian polypharmacy

Youtube video by James McCormack.

Bohemian Polypharmacy – a parody of Queen’s classic song Bohemian Rhapsody – a song all about polypharmacy – taking more medicines than are clinically indicated.

Here’s more discussion on polypharmacy. Polypharmacy: Misleading, but manageable.

From the abstract:

Healthcare practitioners must appropriately use medication for multiple diseases and avoid risks often associated with multiple medication use such as adverse effects, drug/drug interactions, drug/disease interactions, and inappropriate dosing. The purpose of this study is to identify a consensus definition for polypharmacy and evaluate its prevalence among elderly outpatients. The authors also sought to identify or develop a clinical tool which would assist healthcare practitioners guard against inappropriate drug therapy in elderly patients. The most commonly cited definition was a medication not matching a diagnosis. Inappropriate was part of definitions used frequently. Some definitions placed a numeric value on concurrent medications. Two common definitions (ie, 6 or more medications or a potentially inappropriate medication) were used to evaluate polypharmacy in elderly South Carolinians (n = 1027). Data analysis demonstrates that a significant percentage of this population is prescribed six or more concomitant drugs and/or uses a potentially inappropriate medication. The findings are 29.4% are prescribed 6 or more concurrent drugs, 15.7% are prescribed one or more potentially inappropriate drugs, and 9.3% meet both definitions of polypharmacy used in this study. The authors recommend use of less ambiguous terminology such as hyperpharmacotherapy or multiple medication use. A structured approach to identify and manage inappropriate polypharmacy is suggested and a clinical tool is provided.

Another article on polypharmacy. Polypharmacy as commonly defined is an indicator of limited value in the assessment of drug-related problems.


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