Drug burden index in people living with HIV over 50 years of age in a real clinical practice cohort

Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin (Engl Ed). 2023 Jun 30:S2529-993X(23)00189-2. doi: 10.1016/j.eimce.2023.04.023. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: To determine DBI and its relationship with polypharmacy and pharmacotherapeutic complexity (PC) in a cohort of PLWH over 50 years of age at follow-up of pharmacotherapy in a tertiary hospital.

Methods: Observational and retrospective study that included PLWH in active antiretroviral treatment over 50 years of age who have been followed up in outpatient pharmacy services. Pharmacotherapeutic complexity was estimated through Medication Regimen Complexity Index (MRCI). Collected variables included comorbidities, current prescriptions and its classification according to anticholinergic and sedative activity and associated risk of falls.

Results: Studied population included 251 patients (85.7% men; median age: 58 years, interquartile range: 54-61). There was a high prevalence of high DBI scores (49.2%). High DBI was significantly correlated with a high PC, polypharmacy, psychiatric comorbidity and substances abuse (p<0.05). Among sedative drugs, the most prescribed were anxiolytic drugs (N05B) (n=85), antidepressant drugs (N06A) (n=41) and antiepileptic drugs (N03A) (n=29). For anticholinergic drugs, alpha-adrenergic antagonist drugs (G04C) were the most prescribed (n=18). Most frequent drugs associated with risk of falls were anxiolytics (N05B) (n=85), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (C09A) (n=61) and antidepressants (N06A) (n=41).

Conclusion: The DBI score in older PLWH is high and it is related to PC, polypharmacy, mental diseases and substance abuse as is the prevalence of fall-related drugs. Control of these parameters as well as the reduction of the sedative and anticholinergic load should be included in the lines of work in the pharmaceutical care of people living with HIV+.

Keywords: Aging; Atención farmacéutica; Cholinergic antagonists; Drug burden Index; Drug burden index; Envejecimiento; Fármacos anticolinérgicos; HIV; Hipnóticos; Hypnotics; Pharmaceutical care; Sedantes; Sedatives; VIH.