Some patients are prescribed multiple medications, some of which have to be taken several times a day. Over time the patient may feel that therapy is a burden.

Patient examples: HIV, transplant recipients, elderly



(1) polypharmacy

(2) multiple comorbid conditions

(3) multiple providers


Factors contributing to a sense of burden:

(1) total number of different medications

(2) total number of pills and doses that need to be taken per day

(3) number of different kinds of medications (pills, drops, injections, etc)

(4) need to schedule around other things


Negative impacts:

(1) constant reminder of ill health, which can be depressing

(2) poor compliance

(3) cost of medications

(4) errors in taking medications

(5) potential for drug-drug interactions and drug-food interactions

(6) fluctuation in control of chronic disease


Ways to reduce burden:

(1) deprescribing

(2) polypill (two or more medications in the same pill)

(3) change to formulations requiring less often dosing, such as once a day

(4) consolidating the dosing schedule to fewer episodes

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