Aim: Multiple drug use (polypharmacy) increases the risk of numerous negative health consequences. The aim of this study was to examine the factors that may lead to polypharmacy in adult patients followed in primary care and to determine the social support status and anxiety-depression risk in patients using multiple drugs.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 3 family medicine units in the Adana province. A total of 393 adult patients who were receiving two or more drugs daily were included. Sociodemographic data were recorded and risk factors for polypharmacy were questioned. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) were applied.
Results: Out of 393 participants, 52.9% were female and the mean age was 60.1±11.0 years. The mean number of chronic diseases was 2.7±.2. The mean number of drugs used was 4.7±2.2. Of the participants, 31.3% had risk of depression and 24.2% had risk of anxiety. The number of drugs used increased as age, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and number of chronic diseases increased. The MSPSS total score decreased as age increased. The risk of anxiety and depression was significantly greater in women, participants with low education and those who had no partner.
Conclusions: Significant physical and mental problems occur in individuals who use multiple drugs, especially in the elderly. The present study revealed that predictors of polypharmacy include age, BMI, waist circumference and number of chronic diseases. Primary care physicians should be aware of these predictors when prescribing additional medication.