Background: The number of people aged 60 or older is estimated to be 5.6% among Jordanian population, those elderly people need special medical care; since they have a greater prevalence of chronic diseases and therefore subjected to higher prevalence of polypharmacy and potential drug-drug interaction (pDDI). There is no data about polypharmacy and pDDI in elderly patients among the Jordanian population.
Methods: Prescriptions for patients aged 60 or older were examined and those patients were interviewed in several community pharmacies and hospitals’ outpatient pharmacies. The interviews covered factors that may affect the possibility of pDDI and polypharmacy including patient’s education level, number of doctors the patient see, number of drugs the patient take, does the patient live alone and does the patient take the medication by himself.
Results: 367 (51.5% male and 48.5% female) patients were interviewed and their prescriptions examined. The data showed that 334 (91%) had at least one pDDI of those 67 (18.3%) had a major pDDI and 281 (76.6%) had at least one moderate pDDI. Polypharmacy was found in 275 (74.9%) of the participants. Factors that were associated with incidence of major pDDI included polypharmacy, taking Alimentary tract and metabolism drugs or drugs acting on blood and blood forming organ, and patient taking medication by him/herself. Several factors were associated with moderate pDDI including seeing a general practitioner, while polypharmacy was associated with education level and number of diseases.
Conclusion: High incidence of major and moderate pDDI and polypharmacy was found. This study emphasizes the need for a better control over elderly prescription in Jordan.Author(s): Walid Al-Qerem, Yazun Bashir Jarrar, Iyad Al-Sheikh, Abdullah ElMaadani