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Polypharmacy (also called polymedicine) is the use of multiple medications by a patient.It sometimes alternatively refers to purportedly excessive or unnecessary prescriptions.The variant “polymedicine” is less likely than “polypharmacy” to bear the negative connotation of excess (and it is also more likely to refer to multiple drugs treating a single disease, known better as combination therapy),but both terms lack for universally consistent definition.
Benefits of polypharmacy can include enhanced efficacy of treatment as well as improved safety and tolerance of pharmacotherapy. Concerns about polypharmacy include increased adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interactions, and higher costs. Polypharmacy is most common with the elderly.