Background Inappropriate drug prescriptions or prescriptions outside the therapeutic indications can frequently be the cause of adverse reactions to drugs, which can potentially be avoided. Despite there being a consensus on the definition of inappropriate medicines prescription, it is often difficult to identify and measure inappropriate prescriptions.
Purpose To evaluate the frequency and occurrence of inappropriate drug prescriptions in elderly patients hospitalised in our healthcare setting by using two criteria: Beers and STOPP.
Material and methods The discharge prescriptions coming from the internal and geriatric medicine wards of the Ferrara hospital. We selected the prescriptions for all patients over the age of 70 from July 1st 2013 to June 30th 2014 considering: age, sex, length of hospitalisation, prescribing ward, prescribed drugs and the patient’s pathologies. The main outcome measures were: prevalence of inappropriate prescriptions following the Beers and STOPP criteria, and the drugs that are frequently inappropriately prescribed.
Results Our study involved 950 patients (average age 75). Following the Beers criteria, 37% (28–42%) of patients had received at least one inappropriate prescription. This percentage rose to 45% (38–49%) by following the STOPP criteria.
According to the Beers criteria our analyses observed that 20% of inappropriately prescribed drugs were beta blockers, 25% were NSAIDs, 18% were benzodiazepines. On the other hand, by following the STOPP criteria we observed that aspirin accounted for 45% of inappropriately prescribed drugs, NSAIDs for 22%. The highest frequency of inappropriate prescriptions was detected from the geriatric ward.
Conclusion From the analyses performed we have observed that in our hospital in the medical wards there is a high frequency of inappropriate prescriptions. It could be possible to reduce inappropriate drugs by about 80% by acting on the four main categories of drugs that are more often inappropriately prescribed.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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