BACKGROUND: Polypharmacy, the simultaneous use of multiple drugs, is associated with adverse drug reactions, medication errors, and increased risk of hospitalization. When the number of concurrently used drugs totals five or more (major polypharmacy), a significant risk may be present. AIM: To analyse the interpractice variation in the prevalence of major polypharmacy among listed patients, and to identify possible predictors of major polypharmacy related to the practice. METHOD: Prescription data were retrieved from the Odense Pharmacoepidemiological Database, and individuals subject to major polypharmacy were identified. The age- and sex-standardized prevalence rate of major polypharmacy was calculated for each practice in the County of Funen in Denmark (n = 173), using the distribution of age and sex of the background population as a reference. The practice characteristics were retrieved from the Regional Health Insurance System. Possible predictors of major polypharmacy related to the general practitioners (GPs) were analysed using backward stepwise linear multiple regression. RESULTS: A six-fold variation between the practices in the prevalence of major polypharmacy was found (16 to 96 per 1000 listed patients; median = 42). Predictors related to the practice structure, workload, clinical work profile, and prescribing profile could explain 56% of the variation. CONCLUSION: A substantial part of the variation in major polypharmacy between practices can be explained by predictors related to practice.
Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a common illness with varied mortality and morbidity. Patients with AP complicated with acute renal failure (ARF) have higher mortality than patients with AP alone. Although ARF has been proposed as a leading mortality cause for AP patients admitted to the ICU, few studies have directly analyzed the relationship between AP and ARF.
We performed a retrospective study using the population-based database from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). In the period from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2005, every patient with AP admitted to the ICU was included and assessed for the presence of ARF and mortality risk.
In year 2005, there were a total of 221,101 admissions to the ICU. There were 1,734 patients with AP, of which 261 (15.05%) patients also had a diagnosis of ARF. Compared to sepsis and other critical illness, patients with AP had a higher risk of having a diagnosis of ARF, and patients with both diagnoses had a higher mortality rate in the same ICU hospitalization.
AP is associated with a higher risk of ARF, and, when both conditions exist, a higher risk of mortality is present.
Acute renal failure; intensive care; severe acute pancreatitis
Polypharmacy and drug-related problems (DRPs) have been shown to prevail in hospitalized patients. We evaluated the prevalence of polypharmacy; and investigated relationship between polypharmacy and: symptoms of DRPs, number of drugs and OTC, index of cumulative morbidity, length of exposure to polypharmacy and the number of days of hospital stay among hospitalized patients.
A study was performed in Pharmacies „Eufarm Edal“ Tuzla from 2010 to 2011. Polypharmacy was defined as using ≥ 3 drugs. The total study sample of 226 examiners were interviewed with special constructed questionnaires about DRPs. Experimental study group consisted of hospital patients with polypharmacy (n=166) and control group hospital patients without polypharmacy (n=60). Mann-Whitney test was used to test for significant self-reported symptom differences between groups and cross sectional subgroups, t- test and χ2- test for age, gender and treatment data in hospital.
The prevalence of polypharmacy was 74% among 226 hospitalized patients. The vulnerable age subgroup of hospitalized patients was men and hospitalized patients aged from 46 to 50 years (not geriatric patients). The prevalence of index of cumulative morbidity was 65%. The most common exposures varied by patient age and by hospital type, with various antibiotics, antidepressants, analgesics, sedatives, antihypertensives, flixotide, ranitidine and others. The prevalence of exposure to OTC and self- treatment was 80%. The prevalence of symptoms of drug-related problems were significantly differed among patients of experimental in relationship of control study group patients (P<0.001).
In addition to helping to resolve the above mentioned issues, the results from this study could provide baseline information quantifying the problem of drug- related problems among hospitalized patients receiving polypharmacy and contribute to the formulation and implementation of risk management strategies for pharmacists and physicians in primary care health.
polypharmacy; hospitalized patients; index of cumulative; primary pharmaceutical care.
AIM: To evaluate the possibility of an association between polyethylene glycol (PEG) and acute renal failure (ARF) in elderly patients using a health insurance claims database.
METHODS: We conducted a population-based case-crossover study using information obtained from Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) claims from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005 (Seoul, Korea). The study population consisted of elderly patients who received PEG prior to experiencing their first ARF-related hospitalization from April 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005. For each patient, one case and two control periods were matched. PEG use in a 2- or 4-wk window period prior to hospitalization for ARF was compared with PEG use in two earlier 2- or 4-wk control window periods. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CI, adjusting for concomitant uses of diuretics, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, and contrast media.
RESULTS: Within the HIRA database which contained 1 093 262 elderly patients, 1156 hospitalized ARF cases were identified. Among these cases, PEG was prescribed to 17 (1.5%) patients before hospitalization. The adjusted ORs when applying the 2- and 4-wk window periods were 0.4 (95% CI: 0.03-5.24) and 2.1 (95% CI: 0.16-27.78), respectively.
CONCLUSION: No increased risk of ARF was found in elderly PEG users. However, based on the limited number of study subjects, further analysis should be performed to confirm these results.
Polyethylene glycol; Acute renal failure; Adverse drug reaction; Health insurance claims database; Case-crossover
In the past, polypharmacy was referred to the mixing of many drugs in one prescription. Today polypharmacy implies to the prescription of too many medications for an individual patient, with an associated higher risk of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and interactions. Situations certainly exist where the combination therapy or polytherapy is the used for single disease condition. Polypharmacy is a problem of substantial importance, in terms of both direct medication costs and indirect medication costs resulting from drug-related morbidity. Polypharmacy increases the risk of side effects and interactions. Moreover it is a preventable problem. A retrospective study was carried out at Bhopal district (Capital of Madhya Pradesh, India) in the year of September-November 2009 by collecting prescriptions of consultants at various levels of health care. The tendency of polypharmacy was studied and analyzed under the various heads in the survey. Available data suggests that polypharmacy is a widespread problem, and physician, clinical pharmacists and patients are all responsible. These risks can be minimized through identifying the prevalence of this potential problem in a high-risk population and by increasing awareness among patients and healthcare professionals. Physicians and clinical pharmacists have the potential to combating this problem through a variety of interventions such as reducing the number of medications taken, reducing the number of doses taken, increasing patient adherence, preventing ADRs, improving patient quality of life and decreasing facility and drug costs.
Adverse drug reactions; clinical survey; inappropriate medication; polypharmacy; preventions
The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between acute serum creatinine changes in acute renal failure (ARF), before specialized treatment begins, and in-hospital mortality, recovery of renal function, and overall mortality at 6 months, on an equal degree of ARF severity, using the RIFLE criteria, and comorbid illnesses.
Prospective cohort study of 1008 consecutive patients who had been diagnosed as having ARF, and had been admitted in an university-affiliated hospital over 10 years. Demographic, clinical information and outcomes were measured. After that, 646 patients who had presented enough increment in serum creatinine to qualify for the RIFLE criteria were included for subsequent analysis. The population was divided into two groups using the median serum creatinine change (101%) as the cut-off value. Multivariate non-conditional logistic and linear regression models were used.
A ≥ 101% increment of creatinine respect to its baseline before nephrology consultation was associated with significant increase of in-hospital mortality (35.6% vs. 22.6%, p < 0.001), with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.81 (95% CI: 1.08–3.03). Patients who required continuous renal replacement therapy in the ≥ 101% increment group presented a higher increase of in-hospital mortality (62.7% vs 46.4%, p = 0.048), with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.66 (95% CI: 1.00–7.21). Patients in the ≥ 101% increment group had a higher mean serum creatinine level with respect to their baseline level (114.72% vs. 37.96%) at hospital discharge. This was an adjusted 48.92% (95% CI: 13.05–84.79) more serum creatinine than in the < 101% increment group.
In this cohort, patients who had presented an increment in serum level of creatinine of ≥ 101% with respect to basal values, at the time of nephrology consultation, had increased mortality rates and were discharged from hospital with a more deteriorated renal function than those with similar Liano scoring and the same RIFLE classes, but with a < 101% increment. This finding may provide more information about the factors involved in the prognosis of ARF. Furthermore, the calculation of relative serum creatinine increase could be used as a practical tool to identify those patients at risk, and that would benefit from an intensive therapy.
There is limited information about the true incidence of acute renal failure (ARF). Most studies could not quantify disease frequency in the general population as they are hospital-based and confounded by variations in threshold and the rate of hospitalization. Earlier studies relied on diagnostic codes to identify non-dialysis requiring ARF. These underestimated disease incidence since the codes have low sensitivity. Here we quantified the incidence of non-dialysis and dialysis-requiring ARF among members of a large integrated health care delivery system –Kaiser Permanente of Northern California. Non-dialysis requiring ARF was identified using changes in inpatient serum creatinine values. Between 1996 and 2003, the incidence of non-dialysis requiring ARF increased from 322.7 to 522.4 whereas that of dialysis-requiring ARF increased from 19.5 to 29.5 per 100 000 person-years. ARF was more common in men and among the elderly, although those aged 80 years or more were less likely to receive acute dialysis treatment. We conclude that the use of serum creatinine measurements to identify cases of non-dialysis requiring ARF resulted in much higher estimates of disease incidence compared with previous studies. Both dialysis-requiring and non-dialysis requiring ARFs are becoming more common. Our data underscore the public health importance of ARF.
acute renal failure; dialysis; epidemiology; acute kidney injury; acute dialysis; disease incidence
This study compared the odds ratio (OR) of surgical site infection (SSI) within 30 days after operation with general anaesthesia (GA) or neuraxial anaesthesia (NA) in Taiwanese women undergoing Caesarean delivery (CD).
An epidemiologic design was used. The study population was based on the records of all deliveries in hospitals or obstetric clinics between January 2002 and December 2006 in Taiwan. Anonymized claim data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) were analysed. Women who received CD were identified from the NHIRD by Diagnosis-Related Group codes. The mode of anaesthesia was defined by order codes. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the OR and associated 95% confidence interval (CI) of post-CD SSIs for GA when compared with NA. The outcome was whether a woman had been diagnosed as having an SSI during the hospitalization or was re-hospitalized within 30 days after CD for the treatment of SSIs using five or 81 International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes.
Among the 303 834 Taiwanese women who underwent CD during the 5 yr observation period, the 30 day post-CD SSI rate was 0.3% or 0.9% based on five or 81 ICD-9-CM codes. The multivariate-adjusted OR of having post-CD SSIs in the GA group was 3.73 (95% CI, 3.07–4.53) compared with the NA group (P<0.001) using five ICD-9-CM codes for the definition of SSI.
GA for CD was associated with a higher risk of SSI when compared with neuraxial anaesthesia.
anaesthesia; Caesarean section; general anaesthesia; neuraxial anaesthesia; surgical site infection
Pregnancy-related acute renal failure (ARF) is a common occurrence and is associated with substantial maternal and fetal mortality. It also bears a high risk of bilateral renal cortical necrosis. We conducted this study to evaluate the contributing factors and to assess the frequency of cortical necrosis. In this prospective study, of the 772 patients with ARF admitted at our institute between January 2004 and May 2006, 70 had ARF associated with pregnancy complications. ARF was diagnosed by documenting oliguria (urine output <400 ml/d) or mounting azotemia in the presence of normal urine output. (serum creatinine >2 mg%). Renal biopsy was performed if a patient was found to be oliguric or required dialysis support at the end of three weeks. The incidence of pregnancy-related ARF was 9.06%. Approximately 20% cases occurred due to postabortal complications in early pregnancy and 80% following complications in late pregnancy. Puerperal sepsis was the most common etiological factor in 61.42% of the patients. Preeclampsia accounted for 28.57% of ARF. Two-thirds of patients recovered with dialysis and supportive care. The incidence of biopsy proven renal cortical necrosis was 14.8% (10 of the 70 patients). The incidence of renal cortical necrosis was 28.57% in the early pregnancy group and 10.71% in the late pregnancy group. Postabortal sepsis was the most common precipitating event for renal cortical necrosis. Maternal mortality was 18.57%. Sepsis accounted for a majority of deaths (61.53%). Pregnancy-related ARF is common in western India. Puerperal sepsis is the most frequent etiological factor. Renal cortical necrosis is common and postabortal sepsis was the most common precipitating event. Sepsis accounted for a majority of maternal mortality.
Acute renal failure; renal cortical necrosis; pregnancy; sepsis
Drug-related problems (DRPs) have been shown to prevail in hospitalized patients, and polypharmacy and increasing age have been identified as two important risk factors.
We investigated the occurrence of DRPs and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) amongst hospitalized patients prescribed polypharmacy, and the association of advanced age and female gender.
A retrospective cross-sectional study was performed in an acute-care hospital in Singapore. Only patients prescribed polypharmacy were included. Mann-Whitney test was used to test for significant difference between the age and gender of patients and their risk of acquiring DRPs. The relative risks of developing DRP and ADR for geriatric patients and female patients were estimated.
Of 347 patients prescribed polypharmacy (43% female and 58.2% geriatrics), no statistical correlations were observed between age and gender with developing DRPs. An increased number of medications was associated with higher risk for patients with DRPs on admission (p = 0.001), but not for inpatients with DRPs (p = 0.119). Results from patients with ADRs showed that the relative risk (RR) of geriatrics prescribed polypharmacy and major polypharmacy (10 and more drugs) were 1.01 and 1.23, respectively. Female patients had a RR of 0.79 compared with male patients in developing ADRs.
Results showed that among patients with polypharmacy, age and gender may not be as important as number of drugs prescribed as predictors of experiencing a DRP. A similar trend was observed in the development of ADRs.
polypharmacy; drug-related problems; adverse drug reactions; geriatrics
Background: Antipsychotic polypharmacy remains a widespread and persistent practice, despite a lack of empirical evidence to support its safety and efficacy. This study aimed to assess antipsychotic treatment prior to the initiation of polypharmacy and ascertained clinicians’ reasons for coprescribing long term. We also aimed to determine patterns of antipsychotic coprescription and associated outcome.
Method: Prescription charts across a large mental health trust were reviewed to identify all patients coprescribed two or more antipsychotics excluding clozapine. For those receiving antipsychotic polypharmacy for at least 6 months, electronic patient records were examined to obtain demographic data, documented reasons for initiating polypharmacy and prior prescribing information. Sequence of prescribing, clinical outcome, adverse effects and prescriber considerations to revert to monotherapy were determined.
Results: In all, 38 patients had been receiving two antipsychotics excluding clozapine for longer than 6 months. In 39% of cases patients had been prescribed no or only one antipsychotic before initiation of polypharmacy while 48% had been trialled on clozapine. The most frequently documented reason for coprescribing was that residual psychotic symptoms remained with monotherapy. An improvement in psychotic symptoms was documented in 26% of patients receiving polypharmacy. Prescribers considered stopping polypharmacy in 23 patients.
Conclusion: Antipsychotics were coprescribed largely to improve symptoms and clinical outcome in patients with inadequate response to monotherapy. Polypharmacy was not solely reserved for patients in whom all other therapeutic options had failed. There was some evidence to suggest that patients did benefit from coprescription, albeit at the expense of an increased adverse effect burden. Prospective randomized trials of specific antipsychotic combinations are required to assess the therapeutic utility of this under-researched practice.
antipsychotics; polypharmacy; schizophrenia
To study the prescription pattern of psychotropic drugs in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Eastern India with special reference to polypharmacy.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 411 patients were included in the study through systematic sampling. Patients were diagnosed by a Consultant Psychiatrist before inclusion in the study using a semi-structured interview schedule based on the International Classification of Disease (ICD), classification of mental and behavioral disorders, 10th version). The most recently prescribed psychopharmacological medication of those patients was studied. A checklist to assess the pattern of prescription and evaluate reasons of polypharmacy was filled up by the prescribing consultant.
About 76.6% of the patients received polypharmacy in the index study. Males were more exposed to polypharmacy compared to women (80.93% vs. 70.85%). Gender and diagnosis had a predictive value with regard to the polypharmacy. Polypharmacy was more common in organic mental disorders (F0), psychoactive substance abuse disorders (F1), psychotic disorders (F2), mood disorders (F3) and in childhood, and adolescent mental disorders (F9). Most frequently, antipsychotic drugs were prescribed followed by tranquilizers/hypnotics and anticholinergics. Antidepressants (35.13%) were more commonly prescribed as monotherapy. Anticholinergics (100%) and tranquilizers/hypnotics (96.7%) were the drugs more commonly used in combination with other psychotropics. The three most common reasons for prescribing polypharmacy were augmentation (43.8%) of primary drug followed by its use to prevent adverse effects of primary drug (39.6%) and to treat comorbidity (34.9%).
Polypharmacy is a common practice despite the research based guidelines suggest otherwise. More vigorous research is needed to address this sensitive issue.
Polypharmacy; prescription patterns; psychotropics
AIM: To evaluate the treatment options for nephrotoxicity due to cisplatin combination chemotherapy.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients who had received cisplatin combination chemotherapy for gastric cancer between January 2002 and December 2008. We investigated patients who had shown acute renal failure (ARF), and examined their clinical characteristics, laboratory data, use of preventive measures, treatment cycles, the amount of cisplatin administered, recovery period, subsequent treatments, and renal status between the recovered and unrecovered groups.
RESULTS: Forty-one of the 552 patients had serum creatinine (SCR) levels greater than 1.5 mg/dL. We found that pre-ARF SCR, ARF SCR, and ARF glomerular filtration rates were significantly associated with renal status post-ARF between the two groups (P = 0.008, 0.026, 0.026, respectively). On the receiver operating characteristic curve of these values, a 1.75 mg/dL ARF SCR value had 87.5% sensitivity and 84.8% specificity (P = 0.011).
CONCLUSION: Cessation or reduction of chemotherapy should be considered for patients who have an elevation of SCR levels during cisplatin combination chemotherapy.
Acute renal failure; Cisplatin; Drug toxicities; Nephrotoxicity
Renal dysfunction or acute renal failure in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. The great impact of acute renal failure (ARF) in the outcomes of cardiac surgery demands its study in our population, encouraging to the elaboration of this study, which aimed to identify the incidence and risk factors of ARF after CABG.
Since March 2010 to 2011, 589 patients were studied who underwent CABG in Sina Hospital (Isfahan, Iran). In this cross-sectional study, patients were divided into two groups based on the occurrence of ARF after CABG and measured variables were compared between the two groups was also statistically significant. P value less than 0.05 was set as a significant level.
A total of 434 men and 155 women were enrolled in the study. The mean age of the study subjects was 57.6 years. ARF was seen in about 22% of patients after CABG. The mean age of ARF group was more than 3 years higher than that in the other group and the difference was significant between the two groups. Serum creatinine level after the surgery was different between the two groups. Moreover, the history of diabetes mellitus was significantly different between the two groups. Pump time comparison also showed was also statistically significant.
Our data showed older patients were more prone to affected by ARF. In addition, diabetic patients should be considered as high risk patients and are more likely to deteriorate by ARF. Despite increased prevalence of renal insufficiency in CABG patients, studies show that in most cases, this is not a serious problem and it is easily treatable. A lower proportion of patients (1.0 to 1.7% in different large series) develop ARF severe enough to require dialysis.
Coronary Artery Bypass; Acute Kidney Injury; Creatinine
Although uncomplicated acute renal failure (ARF) is associated with significant hospital resource utilization, its health care requirements following hospital discharge are not well understood. The goal of this study was to characterize the post-hospital care requirements incurred by patients with uncomplicated ARF and to determine its important influencing factors.
We obtained hospital case mix data sets for a 2-year period (1999–2000) from the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Utilizing DRG and ICD-9-CM codes from 23 Massachusetts hospitals, we identified 2,128 adult patients whose primary reason for hospitalization was uncomplicated ARF. Post-hospital care was defined as the receipt of extended facility care or home health care following hospital discharge.
Nearly 50% of patients hospitalized with uncomplicated ARF required some type of post-hospital care, of whom 27% underwent extended facility care while 22% received home health care. The post-hospital care requirements for uncomplicated ARF were similar to those for serious medical conditions (e.g. heart failure) and exceeded those of many common illnesses (e.g., bronchitis). Advancing age, worsening severity of illness, female gender, and emergency room admission were independently associated with receipt of post-hospital care (p < 0.05). A trend existed between less frequent post-hospital care requirements and hospitalization at academic medical centers compared with non-academic hospitals.
Uncomplicated ARF is frequently associated with prolonged care following hospitalization. As the health care utilization for ARF becomes better characterized, these post-hospital care resources should not be overlooked.
Acute renal failure, outcomes; Extended facility care; Home health care; Nephrology, clinical
This paper reviews the adverse outcomes associated with polypharmacy and presents polypharmacy definitions offered by the geriatrics literature, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the various definitions, as well as exploring the relationships among these definitions and what is known about the prevalence and impact of polypharmacy in the geriatric-oncology population.
After completing this course, the reader will be able to:
Differentiate the multiple definitions of polypharmacy in order to be able to recognize it in your patient population.Discuss the current data available in evaluating polypharmacy specifically in older adults with cancer and incorporate the data in your evaluation of older patients.Summarize the agents or drug classes that may be deemed inappropriate in older adults to avoid prescribing medications for older patients that may lead to adverse drug events.
This article is available for continuing medical education credit at CME.TheOncologist.com
The definition of “polypharmacy” ranges from the use of a large number of medications; the use of potentially inappropriate medications, which can increase the risk for adverse drug events; medication underuse despite instructions to the contrary; and medication duplication. Older adults are particularly at risk because they often present with several medical conditions requiring pharmacotherapy. Cancer-related therapy adds to this risk in older adults, but few studies have been conducted in this patient population. In this review, we outline the adverse outcomes associated with polypharmacy and present polypharmacy definitions offered by the geriatrics literature. We also examine the strengths and weaknesses of these definitions and explore the relationships among these definitions and what is known about the prevalence and impact of polypharmacy.
Polypharmacy; Cancer; Oncology; Geriatrics; Medications; Therapy
To compare the rate of relapse as a function of antipsychotic treatment (monotherapy vs. polypharmacy) in schizophrenic patients over a 2-year period.
Using data from a multicenter cohort study conducted in France, we performed a propensity-adjusted analysis to examine the association between the rate of relapse over a 2-year period and antipsychotic treatment (monotherapy vs. polypharmacy).
Our sample consisted in 183 patients; 50 patients (27.3%) had at least one period of relapse and 133 had no relapse (72.7%). Thirty-eight (37.7) percent of the patients received polypharmacy. The most severely ill patients were given polypharmacy: the age at onset of illness was lower in the polypharmacy group (p = 0.03). Patients that received polypharmacy also presented a higher general psychopathology PANSS subscore (p = 0.04) but no statistically significant difference was found in the PANSS total score or the PANSS positive or negative subscales. These patients were more likely to be given prescriptions for sedative drugs (p < 0.01) and antidepressant medications (p = 0.03). Relapse was found in 23.7% of patients given monotherapy and 33.3% given polypharmacy (p = 0.16). After stratification according to quintiles of the propensity score, which eliminated all significant differences for baseline characteristics, antipsychotic polypharmacy was not statistically associated with an increase of relapse: HR = 1.686 (0.812; 2.505).
After propensity score adjustment, antipsychotic polypharmacy is not statistically associated to an increase of relapse. Future randomised studies are needed to assess the impact of antipsychotic polypharmacy in schizophrenia.
Severe acute renal failure (sARF) is associated with considerable morbidity, mortality and use of healthcare resources; however, its precise epidemiology and long-term outcomes have not been well described in a non-specified population.
Population-based surveillance was conducted among all adult residents of the Calgary Health Region (population 1 million) admitted to multidisciplinary and cardiovascular surgical intensive care units between May 1 1999 and April 30 2002. Clinical records were reviewed and outcome at 1 year was assessed.
sARF occurred in 240 patients (11.0 per 100,000 population/year). Rates were highest in males and older patients (≥65 years of age). Risk factors for development of sARF included previous heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, connective tissue disease, chronic renal dysfunction, and alcoholism. The annual mortality rate was 7.3 per 100,000 population with rates highest in males and those ≥65 years. The 28-day, 90-day, and 1-year case-fatality rates were 51%, 60%, and 64%, respectively. Increased Charlson co-morbidity index, presence of liver disease, higher APACHE II score, septic shock, and need for continuous renal replacement therapy were independently associated with death at 1 year. Renal recovery occurred in 78% (68/87) of survivors at 1 year.
sARF is common and males, older patients, and those with underlying medical conditions are at greatest risk. Although the majority of patients with sARF will die, most survivors will become independent from renal replacement therapy within a year.
The aim of the present study is to understand the nature of acid–base disorders in critically ill patients with acute renal failure (ARF) using the biophysical principles described by Stewart and Figge. A retrospective controlled study was carried out in the intensive care unit of a tertiary hospital.
Materials and methods
Forty patients with ARF, 40 patients matched for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score (matched control group), and 60 consecutive critically ill patients without ARF (intensive care unit control group) participated. The study involved the retrieval of biochemical data from computerized records, quantitative biophysical analysis using the Stewart–Figge methodology, and statistical comparison between the three groups. We measured serum sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonate, phosphate, ionized calcium, albumin, lactate and arterial blood gases.
Intensive care unit patients with ARF had a mild acidemia (mean pH 7.30 ± 0.13) secondary to metabolic acidosis with a mean base excess of -7.5 ± 7.2 mEq/l. However, one-half of these patients had a normal anion gap. Quantitative acid–base assessment (Stewart–Figge methodology) revealed unique multiple metabolic acid–base processes compared with controls, which contributed to the overall acidosis. The processes included the acidifying effect of high levels of unmeasured anions (13.4 ± 5.5 mEq/l) and hyperphosphatemia (2.08 ± 0.92 mEq/l), and the alkalinizing effect of hypoalbuminemia (22.6 ± 6.3 g/l).
The typical acid–base picture of ARF of critical illness is metabolic acidosis. This acidosis is the result of the balance between the acidifying effect of increased unmeasured anions and hyperphosphatemia and the lesser alkalinizing effect of hypoalbuminemia.
acid–base disorders; acidosis; acute renal failure; albumin; alkalosis; critical illness; phosphate; unmeasured anions
One of the hallmarks of modern medicine is the improving management of chronic health conditions. Long-term control of chronic disease entails increasing utilization of multiple medications and resultant polypharmacy. The goal of this study is to improve our understanding of the impact of polypharmacy on outcomes in trauma patients 45 years and older.
Materials and Methods:
Patients of age ≥45 years were identified from a Level I trauma center institutional registry. Detailed review of patient records included the following variables: Home medications, comorbid conditions, injury severity score (ISS), Glasgow coma scale (GCS), morbidity, mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS), intensive care unit (ICU) LOS, functional outcome measures (FOM), and discharge destination. Polypharmacy was defined by the number of medications: 0–4 (minor), 5–9 (major), or ≥10 (severe). Age- and ISS-adjusted analysis of variance and multivariate analyses were performed for these groups. Comorbidity–polypharmacy score (CPS) was defined as the number of pre-admission medications plus comorbidities. Statistical significance was set at alpha = 0.05.
A total of 323 patients were examined (mean age 62.3 years, 56.1% males, median ISS 9). Study patients were using an average of 4.74 pre-injury medications, with the number of medications per patient increasing from 3.39 for the 45–54 years age group to 5.68 for the 75+ year age group. Age- and ISS-adjusted mortality was similar in the three polypharmacy groups. In multivariate analysis only age and ISS were independently predictive of mortality. Increasing polypharmacy was associated with more comorbidities, lower arrival GCS, more complications, and lower FOM scores for self-feeding and expression-communication. In addition, hospital and ICU LOS were longer for patients with severe polypharmacy. Multivariate analysis shows age, female gender, total number of injuries, number of complications, and CPS are independently associated with discharge to a facility (all, P < 0.02).
Over 40% of trauma patients 45 years and older were receiving 5 or more medications at the time of their injury. Although these patients do not appear to have higher mortality, they are at increased risk for complications, lower functional outcomes, and longer hospital and intensive care stays. CPS may be useful when quantifying the severity of associated comorbid conditions in the context of traumatic injury and warrants further investigation.
Comorbid conditions; outcome prediction; polypharmacy; trauma outcomes
Although the standard of treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic monotherapy, overall psychotropic polypharmacy including antipsychotic polypharmacy is increasingly practiced by clinicians. However, there are very few studies that assess the prescription patterns of psychotropic drugs for patients with schizophrenia in Korea. The objective of this study is to describe changes in prescription patterns with respect to antipsychotic polypharmacy and overall psychotropic polypharmacy.
In this retrospective study, we reviewed all psychotropic drugs prescribed at the time of discharge for patients diagnosed as having schizophrenia (DSM-IV criteria) who entered a psychiatric unit of a Korean general hospital from 2001 to 2008. These included a total of 467 patients.
Of the 467 patients in this study, 205 (43.9%) were discharged with antipsychotic monotherapy and the rest, 262 (56.1%), were discharged with a polypharmacy regimen. A total of 9% of the studied patients received more than two antipsychotic drugs. The most frequent combination of antipsychotics was clozapine and aripiprazole, followed by clozapine and amisulpride, and risperidone and olanzapine. The ratio of patients discharged with a polypharmacy regimen including antipsychotic polypharmacy increased from 2001 to 2008. In relation to the mean dose of all antipsychotic drugs at the time of discharge, mean length of hospital stay and mean initial global assessment of functioning scores on admission statistically significant differences were not detected between both monotherapy and polypharmacy groups.
The main finding of this study is that polypharmacy with antipsychotics and other psychotropic medicines increased in our psychiatric unit from 2001 to 2008. The rates of antipsychotic polypharmacy in our study were less than those described in our literature review.
Schizophrenia; Antipsychotic monotherapy; Polypharmacy
Acute renal failure (ARF) frequently complicates lung transplantation. This study determined the prevalence, predictive factors, and consequences of ARF on long-term renal function and survival.
One hundred and seventy-four lung transplantation recipients were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of ARF defined as a 50% decrease in creatinine clearance from baseline (group I: 67 patients with ARF; group II: 107 patients without ARF). Multivariate analysis compared pre-operative, operative, and post-operative risk factors to assess predictive factors. Renal function over time was assessed by two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA).
ARF developed in 67 (39%) of patients. Multivariate analysis identified aprotinin (OR 2.20 (1.11; 4.36), p = 0.02) and double lung transplantation (OR 2.61 (1.32; 5.15), p = 0.006) as risk factors for post-operative renal failure. At 5 years following transplant, creatinine clearance was similar between the two groups (group I CrCl: 73 ml s−1; group II CrCl: 53 ml s−1; p = 0.54). Survival at 5 years was the same in the two groups. Multivariate analysis associated age at the time of transplantation (HR 1.030 (1.004; 1.057), p = 0.02) and intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (HR 1.029 (1.008; 1.051), p = 0.007) with decreased survival.
The use of aprotinin and double lung transplantation are associated with ARF following lung transplantation. Age at the time of transplantation and a longer intensive care stay predict decreased survival. ARF after lung transplantation is not predictive of late renal dysfunction or decreased long-term survival.
Lung transplantation; Acute renal failure; Aprotinin
Psychiatric polypharmacy refers to the prescription of two or more psychiatric medications concurrently to a patient. It can be categorised as same-class, multi-class, adjunctive, augmentation and total polypharmacy. Despite advances in psychopharmacology and a better understanding of the principles of therapeutics, its practice is increasing rapidly. The prevalence of polypharmacy in psychiatry varies between 13%-90%. There are various clinical and pharmaco-economic factors associated with it. Dealing with polypharmacy requires an understanding of its associated factors. Education, guidelines and algorithms for the appropriate management of various conditions are effective ways to avoid irrational polypharmacy.
Drug combinations; Multiple medications; Polypharmacy; Psychopharmacology
An increase in the use of drugs and polypharmacy have been displayed over time in spite of the fact that polypharmacy represents a well known risk factor as regards patients' health due to the adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interactions, and low adherence to drug therapy arising from polypharmacy. For policymakers, as well as for clinicians, it is important to follow the developing trends in drug use and polypharmacy over time. We wanted to study if the prevalence of polypharmacy in an entire national population has changed during a 4-year period.
By applying individual-based data on dispensed drugs, we have studied all dispensed prescribed drugs for the entire Swedish population during four 3-month periods 2005-2008. Five or more (DP ≥5) and ten or more (DP ≥10) dispensed drugs during the 3-month period was applied as the cut-offs indicating the existence of polypharmacy and excessive polypharmacy respectively.
During the period 2005-2008, the prevalence of polypharmacy (DP≥5) increased by 8.2% (from 0.102 to 0.111), and the prevalence of excessive polypharmacy (DP≥10) increased by 15.7% (from 0.021 to 0.024).
In terms of age groups, the prevalence of polypharmacy and excessive polypharmacy increased as regards all ages with the exception of the age group 0-9 years. However, the prevalence of excessive polypharmacy displayed a clear age trend, with the largest increase for the groups 70 years and above. Furthermore, the increase in the prevalence of polypharmacy was, generally, approximately twice as high for men as for women. Finally, the mean number of dispensed drugs per individual increased by 3.6% (from 3.3 to 3.4) during the study period.
The prevalence of polypharmacy and excessive polypharmacy, as well as the mean number of dispensed drugs per individual, increased year-by-year in Sweden 2005-2008.
Although the validity and safety of antipsychotic polypharmacy remains unclear, it is commonplace in the treatment of schizophrenia. This study aimed to investigate the degree that antipsychotic polypharmacy contributed to metabolic syndrome in outpatients with schizophrenia, after adjustment for the effects of lifestyle.
A cross-sectional survey was carried out between April 2007 and October 2007 at Yamanashi Prefectural KITA hospital in Japan. 334 patients consented to this cross-sectional study. We measured the components consisting metabolic syndrome, and interviewed the participants about their lifestyle. We classified metabolic syndrome into four groups according to the severity of metabolic disturbance: the metabolic syndrome; the pre-metabolic syndrome; the visceral fat obesity; and the normal group. We used multinomial logistic regression models to assess the association of metabolic syndrome with antipsychotic polypharmacy, adjusting for lifestyle.
Seventy-four (22.2%) patients were in the metabolic syndrome group, 61 (18.3%) patients were in the pre-metabolic syndrome group, and 41 (12.3%) patients were in visceral fat obesity group. Antipsychotic polypharmacy was present in 167 (50.0%) patients. In multinomial logistic regression analyses, antipsychotic polypharmacy was significantly associated with the pre-metabolic syndrome group (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.348; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.181-4.668), but not with the metabolic syndrome group (AOR, 1.269; 95%CI, 0.679-2.371).
These results suggest that antipsychotic polypharmacy, compared with monotherapy, may be independently associated with an increased risk of having pre-metabolic syndrome, even after adjusting for patients' lifestyle characteristics. As metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality, further studies are needed to clarify the validity and safety of antipsychotic polypharmacy.