JOURNAL ARTICLE

Dispensed drugs and multiple medications in the Swedish population: an individual-based register study

Bo Hovstadius, Bengt Astrand, Göran Petersson
BMC Clinical Pharmacology 2009, 9: 11
19473486

BACKGROUND: Multiple medications is a well-known potential risk factor in terms of patient's health. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of dispensed drugs and multiple medications in an entire national population, by using individual based data on dispensed drugs.

METHODS: Analyses of all dispensed out-patient prescriptions in 2006 from the Swedish prescribed drug register. As a cut-off for multiple medications, we applied five or more different drugs dispensed (DP >or= 5) at Swedish pharmacies for a single individual during a 3-month, a 6-month, and a 12-month study period. For comparison, results were also calculated with certain drug groups excluded.

RESULTS: 6.2 million individuals received at least one dispensed drug (DP >or= 1) during 12 months in 2006 corresponding to a prevalence of 67.4%; 75.6% for females and 59.3% for males. Individuals received on average 4.7 dispensed drugs per individual (median 3, Q1-Q3 2-6); females 5.0 (median 3, Q1-Q3 2-7), males 4.3 (median 3, Q1-Q3 1-6).The prevalence of multiple medications (DP >or= 5) was 24.4% for the entire population. The prevalence increased with age. For elderly 70-79, 80-89, and 90-years, the prevalence of DP >or= 5 was 62.4, 75.1, and 77.7% in the respective age groups. 82.8% of all individuals with DP >or= 1 and 64.9% of all individuals with DP >or= 5 were < 70 years. Multiple medications was more frequent for females (29.6%) than for males (19.2%). For individuals 10 to 39 years, DP >or= 5 was twice as common among females compared to males. Sex hormones and modulators of the genital system excluded, reduced the relative risk (RR) for females vs. males for DP >or= 5 from 1.5 to 1.4. The prevalence of DP >or= 1 increased from 45.1 to 56.2 and 67.4%, respectively, when the study period was 3, 6, and 12 respectively months and the corresponding prevalence of DP >or= 5 was 11.3, 17.2, and 24.4% respectively.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of dispensed drugs and multiple medications were extensive in all age groups and were higher for females than for males. Multiple medications should be regarded as a risk in terms of potential drug-drug interactions and adverse drug reactions in all age groups.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19473486
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"