Poly-pharmacy : Length of a prescription has a unique story to tell!

by Fitcoachion | Last Updated: August 27, 2020

Can you guess how many drugs a busy physician on an average writes in their prescription in his office ?

Three ? , Five , Six ,  . . . . Nine,? There is no specific study available for this non-academic query. I have got stunned to see a maximum of 18 drugs in one prescription. So, it should be anything between  1 to 18. May be a mean around 6 or so (Make your own guesstimate)

There is strong evidence to suggest writing a drug prescription has become a (un)conditioned habit-forming act. My professor* used to say generally 2 to 3 drugs are sufficient for most of the common illnesses we encounter (Only in extraordinary situation one may need to go beyond this )

One evidence less estimate though a random observation  among  the physicians suggested the bottom half of any long list of drug prescription is redundant and it doesn’t really address the specific problem the patient is suffering. Meanwhile ,the concept of poly-pill is making drug compliance easier in many cardiovascular and diabetic diseases.

*William Osler

Final message

Number of drugs human body can handle simultaneously without any harm is  often an ignored chapter in the Principles of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics.

Let us mind the length of our prescriptions and ensure less harm to our beloved patients.

Related material

This was my old presentation made about polypharmacy in CHF :Perils and pearls

PDF format of the presentation