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  1. Methods for estimating the occurrence of polypharmacy by means of a prescription database.

    Article - En anglais


    Concurrent use of multiple drugs (polypharmacy, PP) may cause health risks such as adverse drug reactions, medication errors and poor compliance.

    The objective of this study, based on data from a prescription database, was to evaluate estimators of PP in the general population.


    Data were retrieved from Odense Pharmacoepidemiological Database (OPED) and consisted of all prescriptions in 1994 from a 10% random sample of drug users (n=26977) in the county of Funen, Denmark.

    For each prescription, the period of consumption was calculated by setting the duration of treatment to equal the amount of drug purchased, as measured in defined daily doses (DDD), thereby assuming a daily intake of one DDD.

    PP was defined as overlapping periods of consumption for different drugs.

    A Venn diagram was used to illustrate and compare this estimator of PP with two other indicators of multiple-drug use : the number of drugs purchased in 3 months and the mean number of drugs used in 1 year.

    A receiver operating curve (ROC) was used to evaluate the possibility of predicting episodes of PP from the number of drugs purchased in 3 months.


    The proposed estimator of PP was robust towards changes in DDD.

    On an average day in 1994, the prevalence of PP was 9.9% and the standard deviation (SD) between days was 0.3%. Two to four drugs (minor PP) were used by 8.7% of the population (SD, 0.2%) and five or more drugs (major PP) by 1.2% (SD, 0.1%). (...)

    Mots-clés Pascal : Epidémiologie, Association médicamenteuse, Interaction médicamenteuse, Toxicité, Estimation, Base donnée, Prescription, Etude comparative, Homme

    Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Epidemiology, Drug combination, Drug interaction, Toxicity, Estimation, Database, Prescription, Comparative study, Human

    Logo du centre Notice produite par :
    Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique

    Cote : 97-0522881

    Code Inist : 002B30A01C. Création : 13/02/1998.