Multi-dose drug dispensing and inappropriate drug use: A nationwide register-based study of over 700 000 elderly
Objective: To investigate whether the use of multi-dose drug dispensing is associated with potentially inappropriate drug use (IDU).
Design: Cross-sectional nationwide register-based study.
Subjects: People aged ≥75 years registered in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register during October–December 2005. Main outcome measures. Potentially IDU, i.e. anticholinergic drugs, long-acting benzodiazepines, concurrent use of three or more psychotropic drugs, and combinations of drugs that may lead to potentially serious drug–drug interactions (DDIs).
Results: After adjustment for age and number of dispensed drugs, any IDU, anticholinergic drugs, and three or more psychotropic drugs were associated with multi-dose drug dispensing, whereas the opposite relationship prevailed for long-acting benzodiazepines among women and potentially serious DDIs in both men and women. Among the subjects aged 75–79 years, multi-dose drug dispensing was even more strongly associated with any IDU, anticholinergic drugs, three or more psychotropic drugs in both men and women, and long-acting benzodiazepines among men.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that multi-dose users may be more exposed to potential IDU. However, multi-dose users seem to have a lower probability of potentially serious DDIs. Future research on multi-dose drug dispensing is necessary to ensure a high quality of drug therapy within this system.