, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 212-219
Date: 04 Feb 2014

Polypharmacy in Heart Failure Patients

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Abstract

In heart failure (HF), the progressive use of multiple drugs and a complex therapeutic regimen is common and is recommended by international guidelines. With HF being a common disease in the elderly, patients often have numerous comorbidities that require additional specific treatment, thus producing a heavy pill burden. Polypharmacy, defined as the chronic use of five or more medications, is an underestimated problem in the management of HF patients. However, polypharmacy has an important impact on HF treatment, as it often leads to inappropriate drug prescription, poor adherence to pharmacological therapies, drug-drug interactions, and adverse effects. The growing complexity of HF patients, whose mean age increases progressively and who present multiple comorbidities, suggests the need for newer models of primary care to improve the management of HF patients. Self-care, telemonitoring, and natriuretic peptide-guided therapy represent promising new HF care models to face the complexity of the disease and its therapeutic regimen.