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Forum Medizin 21, 45. Kongress für Allgemeinmedizin und Familienmedizin

Paracelsus Medizinische Privatuniversität in Zusammenarbeit mit der Deutschen, Österreichischen und Südtiroler Gesellschaft für Allgemein- und Familienmedizin

22.09. - 24.09.2011, Salzburg, Österreich

Strategies in pharmacotherapy of multimorbidity: is it always too many or sometimes too few?

Meeting Abstract

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45. Kongress für Allgemeinmedizin und Familienmedizin, Forum Medizin 21. Salzburg, 22.-24.09.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11fom212

doi: 10.3205/11fom212, urn:nbn:de:0183-11fom2123

Published: September 14, 2011

© 2011 van den Akker.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Polypharmacy, the use of five or more chronic medications, is a highly prevalent problem among older people with multimorbidity. Increasingly, physicians and pharmacists make medication reviews aiming at an optimization of the prescriptions by lowering the number of prescriptions.

There are, however, a number of situations in which patients with polypharmacy should get or take additional medication/prescriptions:

when the patient has adherence problems and takes too little medication, resulting from therapeutic complexity, scarce knowledge of medication or decreased use of maintenance medication for diseases with quiescent symptoms; and
when physicians prescribe too little medication, resulting from an incomplete health problem list, insufficient prescription of medication to prevent interaction effects, or inadequate adaptation of therapy to the ageing patient.

Both situations require a different strategy. In the Impulsreferat both problems and possible solutions will be illustrated using real life cases.