Do not get me wrong that I am going to have a bad mouth on polypharmacy. Polypharmacy is common practice, especially in the geriatric age group. It is not an easy work for the physicians who have to always do more work to look into potential interactions. The starting point of each medication is to solve one or more issues.
What are the most common medications being polypharmacized.
To avoid side-effect is one major aspect that the physicians are trained. The most common polypharmacized medications are opioids, benzodiazepines, anticoagulants, digoxin, psychotropic medications, and NSAIDs. Patients tend to bear so much hope when taking pills, no matter it is medication or natural stuff such as Chinese medicine and supplements.
I saw a patient who was taking roughly one hundred kinds of supplements and natural products at home. She was in terrible conditions. After cutting down to the most needed for two month, she told me her conditions significantly improved.
Pharmacists with together with GPs in Ontario.
In the province of Ontario, pharmacists do have a close monitoring of the prescriptions, and communications between pharmacists and medical doctors (mostly GPs) are generally prompt and efficient if any concerns arise. Pharmacist software system do have a warning function if there is anything being neglected even after the most careful prescribing thinking. Polypharmacy is a difficult issue.
Evaluation of benefits versus potential harm sometimes can be challenging and takes lots of knowledge and experience. But it is something to consider when a thought coming up to do something about it.