Background Polypharmacy is commonly applied to elderly haemodialysis patients for treating terminal renal failure and multiple co-morbidities. Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in multidrug regimens in geriatric populations can be identified using specially designed screening tools.
Objective The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of PIMs by applying the Screening Tool of Older Persons’ Prescriptions (STOPP) criteria and the Beers criteria to elderly haemodialysis patients and to assess the association of some risk factors with the presence of PIMs.
Methods Fifty-one elderly haemodialysis patients participated; their median age was 74 (range 65–89) years, and 77 % of them were male. Demographic data, co-morbidity and medication lists were collected from the electronic medical records of the patients. The STOPP criteria were applied by two physicians independently to identify PIMs. The association of some risk factors with PIMs were assessed using Fisher’s exact test.
Results The patients used a median of 13 (range 7–21) medications per day. The overall prevalence of PIMs using the STOPP criteria was 63 %, and using the Beers criteria was 43 %. The most prevalent PIMs were proton-pump inhibitors. Benzodiazepines and first-generation antihistamines were related to side effects such as falls in the previous 3 months, and calcium-channel blockers were associated with chronic constipation. The number of PIMs was not significantly associated with number of medications, age, sex and co-morbidity.
Conclusions The STOPP criteria revealed a high prevalence of PIMs in a population of elderly patients receiving haemodialysis.
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