Perils of polypharmacy: 10 steps to prudent prescribing

Geriatrics. 1996 Jul;51(7):26-30, 35.


A focused, systematic intervention by the primary care physician can often remedy the problem of polypharmacy in older patients. Such an approach includes medication disclosure, drug identification, side effect recognition, treatment review, and a thoughtful, well-monitored reduction in the numbers and doses of medicines. By developing skillful prescribing habits, the physician can resolve drug side effects, prevent future adverse reactions, reduce pharmacy expenditures, and improve medication compliance. Prudent prescribing is one way to improve quality of life for the older patient.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Drug Monitoring / methods*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use
  • Geriatrics
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'


  • Drugs, Generic
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations