Most patients with chronic progressive diseases are treated with several drugs to modify their life-limiting illness(es), if still possible, and to relieve any symptoms caused by it (them). According to a European survey, patients with advanced cancer who are taking opioids for moderate or severe pain are given 7.8 medications on average, and approximately 45% of patients receive unnecessary or potentially unnecessary drugs. Polypharmacy defined either by the use of 5 or more medications (including over-the-counter medicines) or by the inappropriateness of the prescription raises risks of serious adverse effects and drug–drug interactions (DDIs).
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- chronic progressive diseases
- life-limiting illness