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Ottawa Regional Geriatric Program

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Presentation on theme: "Ottawa Regional Geriatric Program"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ottawa Regional Geriatric Program
POLYPHARMACY Dr. Bill Dalziel Chief Ottawa Regional Geriatric Program

2 Question 1 Approximately how much was spent on prescription drugs in Canada in 2003? (total health care costs approximately $110B) $ 5 B (4.5%) $ 8 B (7.3%) $11 B (10%) $15 B (13.6%) $22 B (20%)

3 10-15% of hospital admissions of the elderly are due to ADRs: Adverse Drug Reactions.

4 Consequences of ADR 30% of hospital admissions linked to ADR in US ( Hanlon et al. JAGS 1997) After discharge from TOH, 23% had at least one ADR ( Forster et al. CMAJ 2004) ADR in the older person linked to depression, constipation, falls, immobility, confusion, and hip fractures… (Bootman et al. AIM 1997)


6 Question 2 What is the biggest reason why the elderly are at such high risk for ADRs (Adverse Drug Reactions) Polysymptomatology breeding polypharmacy. Homeostenosis. Pharmacokinetics. Pharmacodynamics. All those pharmacology lectures in medical school (sic!). Pharmaceutical companies: research and marketing.

7 Drugs and The Older Person Statistics
30% of prescription drug use 40% of non prescription drug use Average use of 4.5 medications (community) Average use of 9.1 medications (hospitalized)

8 Question 3 How much does the creatinine clearance decrease as someone ages from 50 to 80? (even though serum creatinine may not change). 5% 15% 25% 35% 45%

9 Calculation of Creatinine Clearance
Cockcroft / Gault Equation Crcl= (140 - AGE) x wt (kgm) x (x .085 for women) Serum Creatinine Changing age from 50 to 80 decreases Crcl by 1/3!

10 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 1. Think of every drug prescribed as a clinical trial with N=1.

11 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 2. Always think of drugs as the diagnosis of any new symptom. Drugs - Prescription Drugs - OTC/OTF Drugs - Alcohol Drugs - Herbal

12 Question 4 The elderly (65+) are 12% of the Canadian population; what % of OTC drugs do they consume? 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

13 Over the Counter Medications in the Elderly
The elderly consume 40% of all OTC. Top 5 Acetaminophen Multivitamins ASA Aluminum Hydroxide Cough and Cold Seniors perceive as “safe”, usually don’t tell their doctor about use. Toxicity and drug interaction problems.

14 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 3. The only rule you learned about the elderly and drugs in medical school, “START LOW GO SLOW” was only ½ correct.

15 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts You need to push/titrate the dosage up until:
Therapeutic goals are met. Side effects. You have your maximum comfortable dosage.

16 Question 5 ? How many drugs do you need (pharmacopia) to take care of 90% of your elderly patient’s prescription needs? 10 25 50 75 100

17 The Geriatric Pharmacopoiea
Others: Nitates / NTG, Digoxin, Iron/Vitamin B12/Vitamin D/Calcium, Dilantin

18 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 4. You only need a small PHARMACOPOEIA. (25)

19 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 5. Regularly review drug regimens and risk
reducing drugs regularly. VA Study 74% of selected drugs d/cd successful. (? Why do we worry more about stopping drugs than starting drugs?)

20 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 6. Avoid the bandwagon of new drugs unless
researched in the elderly or extensively used elsewhere. Ask your drug reps about trials and clinical experience involving elderly subjects.

21 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 7. KNOWLEDGE is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Trials in the elderly. Absolute/Relative CI. Major and minor adverse effects. Drug/drug and drug/disease interactions. Starting/usual/maximum dosages. Cost.

22 “How do you extrapolate research trials
The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 8. IF YOU’RE GOING TO PRACTISE POLYPHARMACY AT LEAST MAKE IT EVIDENCE BASED POLYPHARMACY. OR “How do you extrapolate research trials to 85 years old patients?

23 Question 6 In the EBM (evidence based medicine) world, usual RCTs do not include patients over 75. How can you extrapolate from these results to your 85 year old patients in terms of RRR (relative risk reduction) and ARR (absolute risk reduction). Generally with increasing age above 65… RRR decreases, ARR decreases (NNT increases) RRR decreases, ARR stays the same (NNT stays the same) RRR stays the same, ARR increases (NNT decreases) RRR stays the same, ARR stays the same (NNT stays the same) RRR increases, ARR increases (NNT decreases)

24 In RCTs with Increasing age:
Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) generally remains the same Absolute risk reduction (ARR) increases  NNT decreases

25 Canada (Annual Deaths related to ADR)
Question 7 What is your chance of having a patient in which an adverse drug significantly contributed to mortality? Which is true? Canada (Annual Deaths related to ADR) Physician Risk 1. 1,000 1 patient per 60 years 2. 5,000 1 patient per 12 years 3. 10,000 1 patient per 6 years 4. 30,000 1 patient per 2 years ,000 3.3 patients per year

26 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 9. The sword is DOUBLE EDGED!
Canadian Estimate: 200,000 serious ADRs/year 10,000 deaths/year But also under-medication.

27 Question 8 What % of patients on antihypertensives are significantly non-compliant within 1 year of initiating therapy? 10% 20% 33% 50% 75%

28 The 10 Do’s and Don’ts 10. Noncompliance is a HUGE ISSUE
(75% antihypertensives at 1 year). KISS Non-childproof containers. Clear, large labels. Patient explanation/education. Pharmacists -- total pharmaceutical care.

29 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Conventional NSAIDS. GI bleeds use without prodromal c/o Na/H2O retention  CR.  K  BP

30 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Benzodiazepines. Falls, falls, falls First time anxiety in the elderly is not a benzodiazepine deficiency syndrome. Alternatives for insomnia. R/O causes Non pharmacologic Trazadone (25-50 mgm)

31 Question 9 What is the rate of tardive dyskinesia within 3 years of starting therapy with conventional neuroleptics in elderly patients (65 +). 5% 25% 40% 70% 100%

32 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Conventional Neuroleptics. 70% Tardive Dyskinesia (3 year) EPS Oversedation 18% efficacy above placebo 40 vs 58%

33 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Beta Blockers. Less effective than HCTZ in  BP Useful post MI Very useful in CHF (NY II – IV ( EF) (Start lower, go slower).

34 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Glyburide More hypoglycemia. 16.6 / 1000 patient years

35 Question 10 How much $ is spent in Canada per year on colace a drug with ABSOLUTELY NO laxative properties? $1 million $5 million $25 million $50 million $150 million

36 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Colace/Irritant Laxatives. Colace is not a laxative but we spend in Canada $50M/yearly Sennosides ok short term but risk of cathartic colon long term.

37 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Elavil/Amitriptyline Very anticholinergic Other alternatives in chronic pain – nortryptaline and desipramine. SSRIs

38 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Anticholinergic Drugs. Central = delirium/dementia Peripheral = retention, constipation.

39 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Talwin, Demerol, p.o. Ineffective, toxic.

40 The Top 10 Drugs to Use Less
Serc/gravol. Ineffective, toxic.

41 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
COX 2 NSAIDS. Only better than conventional NSAIDs in major GI events. Cardiovascular toxicity concern.

42 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
2. Drugs to treat depression: SSRI (Celexa), Effexor XR and TCA with low anticholinergic properties (desipramine,’nortryptaline). > 2 year maintenance SSRIs have side effects: GI Parkinson’s Anxiety SIADH Seizures Discontinuation syndrome.

43 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
3. Drugs to treat dementia: ACHEI (Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl). Standard of care = trial. ¼ super responder. ½ mild responder. ¼ non responder (switch). (9 weeks of holidays for caregiver) NNT < 10

44 Question 11 With respect to Coumadin for atrial fibrillation and the concerns about falls in the elderly, how many falls per year do you need to = the risk of not anticoagulating? 2 5 10 100 300

45 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
Coumadin (for atrial fibrillation). 68% RRR vs 21% ASA. INR must be over 2.0 (2.5). 295 falls/year.

46 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
5. Drugs to treat hypertension, especially systolic: (diuretics, CCB/ACEI)/ARB. CVA, CVS, dementia Systolic 165 = diastolic 105 Goal = 140/90 (add ASA) Small doses triple Rx

47 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
6. Drugs to treat osteoporosis: (calcium, vitamin D, bisphosphonates), raloxifene. 2002 CPG CMAJ Nov. 12/02 All 65  DXA screening Vit D 800 IU/Ca 1500 mgm/exercise Fosamax/Actonel/didrocal hPTH (to come)

48 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
Drugs to treat diabetes. Metformin 2nd generation sulfonylurea Glucosidase inhibitors Thiazolidinediones (glitazones)

49 Question 12 What % of patients cannot metabolize codeine (prodrug with no analgesic effect) into the active metabolite morphine? 0.7% 1% 2.5% 5% 10%

50 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
Anaglesics (regular dosing, not PRN). 10% can’t metabolize codeine New acetaminophen limit 3gm/d SR strong opioids/duragesic (AGS Guidelines, JAGS June , Supplement) Nocioceptive: TCA (yes) SSRI (no) Neuropathic: TCA (better than SSRI)

51 The Top 10 Drugs to Use More
Statins. A huge lost opportunity! CVS m & m reduction: 1o/2o Dementia (


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