About one-fourth of adult patients with heart failure are concurrently taking at least 10 different medications in the United States.
Predictors of polypharmacy are a greater number of comorbidities and lower attained level of education. Polypharmacy patients take significantly more of beta blockers, ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers, aldosterone antagonists, vasodilators, diuretics, lipid-modifying agents, antiplatelets, antiarrhythmics, calcium-channel blockers, antianginals, opioids, nonopioid analgesics, antidepressants, antidiabetics, acid blockers, agents for thyroid disorders, bronchodilators, and mineral or vitamin supplements. The physician should teach the patient to make the most of the healing powers of nature and to prescribe medicines intelligently, treating the patient but not his illness.
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