Using Polypharmacy Tools to Help lmprove the Quality of Life in Elderly

Jenna Kelsch


The aging population in the United States is increasing in numbers and in age. With an increasing elderly population comes increasing comorbid and chronic conditions. Polypharmacy is prevalent in multimorbid elderly patients and is on the rise in the United States. However, it is difficult to prescribe medications for the older adult especially those with multimorbidity. Aging affects the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications, and leads to changes in how the medication is metabolized, stored, and excreted from the body, along with possible additional side effects. Beer's criteria, Drug Burden Index, STOPP/START criteria, Fit FOR the Aged criteria (FORT A), the PRISCUS list are example of tools that have been developed to help minimize polypharmacy. Polypharmacy is known to reduce quality of life in the elderly, however, the multiple tools developed do not have high grade consistent literature supporting them. More research needs to be done on the medications and on the tools to help reduce the role polypharmacy has on the quality of life in elderly.