Farm Com. 2022 Apr 26;14(2):27-33. doi: 10.33620/FC.2173-9218.(2022/Vol14).002.05

Anticholinergic burden assessment in polymedicated elderly patients in a nursing home

Gastelurrutia Soto B, Gastelurrutia MA1, 2, Calvo B2
1. Farmacéutica/o comunitaria/o en San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa) 2. Pharmacy Practice Research Group. Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad del País Vasco, UPV/EHU.
Gastelurrutia B, Gastelurrutia MA, Calvo B. Evaluación de la carga anticolinérgica en pacientes mayores polimedicados en una residencia de mayores. Farm Com. 2022 Apr 26;14(2):27-33. doi: 10.33620/FC.2173-9218.(2022/Vol14).002.05
Abstract : 

As the population ages, pluripathology, polymedication and the dependency and frailty situations increase. This is why monitoring drug´s security becomes more important.

In elderly patients, the anticholinergic effects of many drugs can significantly affect the quality of life.

Objectives: To assess the anticholinergic burden (ACB) in a sample of polymedicated patients in a nursing home, in addition to: (a) study the drugs that add ACB, (b) categorize the level of polymedication in the residents of the nursing home, and (c) identify the drugs more frequently implicated in the ACB.

Results: The ACB of the 144 patients in a residence for the elderly was analyzed on the 31st of march of 2020. The patients (mean age: 86.86 ±8.35 years; men 35,4%, women 64,6%) took a mean of 10.64 ±4.46 drugs, of which 60% were generic. The ACB increases as the amount/number of drugs´ (D) use increases; so that in the 1-5 D category it was 1.11; in the 6-10 D it was 2.13; in the 11-15 D it was 2.79 and in patients with more than 15 D it was/reached the 3.08. Only 27 patients didn´t have ACB (18.8%), where 8 were men (6,3%) and 18 women (12,5%).

Conclusions: Assessing ACB it´s a good strategy for the community pharmacists to contribute to the optimization of pharmacotherapy and the consequent improvement of the quality of life of the polymedicated elderly, through medication review and/or deprescription of this type of drugs. More research is needed in this area.

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