Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Polypharmacy . . .

It is not uncommon for patients who come to us after going elsewhere, mostly quacks to have multiple medications with them. Most of the time, the medicines will all be non-essential stuff

Yesterday, I had a patient who sort of broke all records for the number of medicines that he was taking. I counted a total of 21 medications. He has been having fever, cough and breathlessness since the last 2 weeks. 

The 21 medicines included 7 multivitamins, 2 antibiotics, 4 anti-histamines, 2 antacids, 2 bronchodilators, 3 NSAIDs and one cough syrup. Interestingly, there was no paracetamol. 

Regarding the diagnosis, that would be in my next post . . . 


  1. 7 multivitamins! If it was not so tragic, it would be laughable.

    Unfortunately it is not just quacks but also persons with MBBS degrees who precribe so many medicines. I don't know if it is because they lack knowledge or it is because their clinical skills are poor or there are other reasons. I have seen a person with fever who was given 2 antibiotics and plus an antimalarial. This seems to be the marketing era and we doctors seem to be easily influenced by the medical reps telling us what to prescribe.

  2. What did he end up having? I didn't see you post that.

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