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Reducing the anticholinergic and sedative load in older patients on polypharmacy by pharmacist-led medication review: a randomised controlled trial.


ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To evaluate if a pharmacist-led medication review is effective at reducing the anticholinergic/sedative load, as measured by the Drug Burden Index (DBI). DESIGN:Randomised controlled single blind trial. SETTING:15 community pharmacies in the Northern Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS:157 community-dwelling patients aged ?65 years who used ?5 medicines for ?3 months, including at least one psycholeptic/psychoanaleptic medication and who had a DBI?1. INTERVENTION:A medication review by the community pharmacist in collaboration with the patient's general practitioner and patient. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOMES MEASURES:The primary outcome was the proportion of patients whose DBI decreased by at least 0.5. Secondary outcomes were the presence of anticholinergic/sedative side effects, falls, cognitive function, activities of daily living, quality of life, hospital admission and mortality. Data were collected at baseline and 3?months follow-up. RESULTS:Mean participant age was 75.7 (SD, 6.9) years in the intervention arm and 76.6 (SD, 6.7) years in the control arm, the majority were female (respectively 69.3% and 72.0%). Logistic regression analysis showed no difference in the proportion of patients with a?0.5?decrease in DBI between intervention arm (17.3%) and control arm (15.9%), (OR 1.04, CI 0.47 to 2.64, p=0.927). Intervention patients scored higher on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test, measure of cognitive function (OR 2.02, CI 1.11 to 3.67, p=0.021) and reported fewer sedative side effects (OR 0.61, CI 0.40 to 0.94, p=0.024) at follow-up. No significant difference was found for other secondary outcomes. CONCLUSIONS:Pharmacist-led medication review as currently performed in the Netherlands was not effective in reducing the anticholinergic/sedative load, measured with the DBI, within the time frame of 3 months. Preventive strategies, signalling a rising load and taking action before chronic use of anticholinergic/sedative medication is established may be more successful. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT02317666.

SUBMITTER: van der Meer HG 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6059312 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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