Polypharmacy in Older Adults
Polypharmacy in Older Adults. Mrs P. is an 80-year-old woman recently discharged from a 24-hour observation stay at the hospital after being diagnosed with acute bronchitis. She has a history of heart failure, hypertension, osteoarthritis, GERD, and hyperlipidemia. She has no history of smoking. While in the hospital, she was prescribed doxycycline, prednisone 15 mg taper, and a tiotropium inhaler. Her current list of daily medications before hospitalization includes metoprolol succinate 12.5 mg, pantoprazole 40 mg, atorvastatin 10 mg, lisinopril 10 mg, furosemide 40 mg, potassium chloride 20 meq bid, acetaminophen 650 mg bid for pain and tramadol 25 mg as needed. She lives alone but will reside temporarily with her daughter while she recovers. Her discharge report indicated resolving bronchitis, no exacerbation of heart failure, and stable arthritic pain. Today she reports 1 week after discharge with her daughter for a primary care appointment, and they both were concerned about the number of medications she was prescribed and wanted her medications reviewed. In further review, she was found to have lost weight over the past 6 months of 5 lbs, and her current BMI is 25. She states that the weight loss may be due to changing to a healthier diet and reducing sodium as instructed. She also reports no symptoms of GERD for the past 6 months and minimal arthritic pain because of regular use of acetaminophen and daily walking in the halls of her independent living facility. Upon examination, her lungs are clear to auscultation, and no evidence of lower extremity oedema.
Discuss the following:
1) In reviewing her medication list and current symptoms and clinical signs, which
medication could the nurse practitioner consider de-prescribing?
2) Once the patient has completed the prednisone taper, which medication could the nurse
practitioner begin to reduce, given the patient’s reported symptoms?
3) Given the absence of an exacerbation of heart failure and compliance with a reduced
sodium diet, what other medication(s) adjustments could the nurse practitioner consider now?
Please use references no older than 5 years.