Polypharmacy refers to the use of more than one medication by a patient. The exact number of medications that define polypharmacy vary from one person to another and ranges from five to ten drugs. There are various risk factors associated with the condition. The first one is age. Polypharmacy is common in old people. The elderly are more susceptible to experiencing the condition since they have multiple diseases which require varying prescriptions. The elderly are also at risk since their bodies have high chances of experiencing drug events as a result of metabolic changes and a reduction in drug clearance capabilities (Abdulraheem, 2013).
According to Slater, White, Venables, & Frisher (2018), another risk factor associated with polypharmacy is poverty or lower wealth. People from lower social classes tend to use over the counter drugs to treat themselves due to lack of funds to take them to hospitals. As a result, they take more than one medication for their conditions. Obesity is also believed to increase the risk of polypharmacy. Obesity is usually associated with a series of chronic heart diseases such as hypertension. Therefore, obese people use multiple medications to treat various diseases.
The first intervention towards preventing polypharmacy involves drawing from palliative care. The intervention is mostly applicable in very old people, and it entails discontinuation of drugs being administered on the patient. Another method entails conducting medication training during transition care. An example of a transition case is discharging a patient. Duplicate medications also need be to eliminated (Dagli, & Sharma, 2014). The last method entails assessing a patient for the presence of drug-drug interactions before administering any medication. Therefore, as a practitioner, the interventions which I would take to prevent polypharmacy include training patients before they are discharged and assessing them for drug-drug interactions before administering medications.