Anticholinergic drugs are the mainstay treatment of OAB. Anticholinergic load is the cumulative effect of taking anticholinergic medication. Recent evidence suggests that in the elderly this can have a detrimental affect, with the potential to develop dementia. A previous study found that knowledge of anticholinergic load was lacking in our healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to assess knowledge of pharmacists, who in the UK have the potential where qualified to prescribe as well as dispense.
A questionnaire was formulated based on the previous study. It was sent out to 418 pharmacists from; a south London hospital trust, a south London clinical commissioning group and United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacists Association.
Seventy-five pharmacists completed the questionnaire. Solifenacin and tolterodine was the most popular drug prescribed in the elderly without dementia, whilst mirabegron was the most popular in the elderly with dementia. One pharmacist suggested using oxybutynin. Sixty-two percent discuss anticholinergic load with the patients, 40 % advice prescribers and 42 % consider anticholinergic load when dispensing the drug. Fifteen percent have had patients report confusion/memory loss. Thirty percent know how to assess anticholinergic load. Only 15 % felt dementia was a concern with anticholinergic drugs. Worryingly, 54 % though mirabegron exerted anticholinergic effects.
This is the first study looking at pharmacist knowledge on the use of anticholinergic medication for OAB in elderly women. Knowledge amongst all healthcare professionals including pharmacists is lacking and needs to be improved.