Objective: Older people approaching the end of life are at a high risk for adverse drug reactions. Approaching the end of life should change the therapeutic aims, triggering a reduction in the number of drugs.The main aim of this study is to describe the preventive and symptomatic drug treatments prescribed to patients discharged with a limited life expectancy from internal medicine and geriatric wards. The secondary aim was to describe the potentially severe drug-drug interactions (DDI). Materials and Methods: We analyzed Registry of Polytherapies Societa Italiana di Medicina Interna (REPOSI), a network of internal medicine and geriatric wards, to describe the drug therapy of patients discharged with a limited life expectancy. Results: The study sample comprised 55 patients discharged with a limited life expectancy. Patients with at least 1 preventive medication that could be considered for deprescription at the end of life were significantly fewer from admission to discharge (n = 30; 54.5% vs. n = 21; 38.2%; p = 0.02). Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, lipid-lowering drugs, and clonidine were the most frequent potentially avoidable medications prescribed at discharge, followed by xanthine oxidase inhibitors and drugs to prevent fractures. Thirty-seven (67.3%) patients were also exposed to at least 1 potentially severe DDI at discharge. Conclusion: Hospital discharge is associated with a small reduction in the use of commonly prescribed preventive medications in patients discharged with a limited life expectancy. Cardiovascular drugs are the most frequent potentially avoidable preventive medications. A consensus framework or shared criteria for potentially inappropriate medication in elderly patients with limited life expectancy could be useful to further improve drug prescription.
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