Polypharmacy and drug-related problems among people living with HIV/AIDS: a single-center experience

Turk J Med Sci. 2019 Feb 11;49(1):222-229. doi: 10.3906/sag-1807-295.


Background/aim: The HIV-infected population is aging, and the concomitant comorbidities increase the likelihood of polypharmacy. There is a scarcity of data for determining drug-related problems in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out between 1 September 2015 and 1 July 2016. All patients underwent a face-to-face interview with a clinical pharmacist. PCNE Classification V 7.0 was used classify incident drug-related problems (DRPs).

Results: The mean age of the patients was 40.4 ± 13.06 years. The rate of polypharmacy was 66.1% in patients with comorbidities and 12.3% in those without comorbidities (P < 0.001). DRPs were more prominent in older patients (46 vs. 37 years, P < 0.001), those with longer durations of antiretroviral therapy (ART) (45 vs. 27 months, P = 0.014), and those with lower education levels (P = 0.013). Receiving >3 ART drugs was associated with more DRPs in the logistic regression model (odds ratio: 8.299, 95% confidence interval: 1.924–35.803). Fifty-eight interventions were performed in 45 (24.9%) patients. Clinical pharmacist interventions were performed in 18.9% of patients without polypharmacy and in 38.9% of patients with polypharmacy (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: DRPs and polypharmacy are common among elderly PLWHA. More interventions are warranted to boost the quality of life in aging PLWHA.

Keywords: Human immunodeficiency virus; polypharmacy; drug-related problems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polypharmacy*
  • Turkey / epidemiology