Complex medication regimens, often present in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, may increase the risk of adverse drug effects and harm. We sought to characterize this complexity by determining the prevalence of polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medications, and therapeutic competition (where a medication for one condition worsens another condition) in one of the few dedicated heart failure with preserved ejection fraction programs in the United States.
We conducted chart review on 231 patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction seen in the University of Michigan’s Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction Clinic between July 2016 and September 2019. We recorded: 1) standing medications to determine the presence of polypharmacy, defined as ≥ 10 medications; 2) potentially inappropriate medications based on the 2016 American Heart Association Scientific Statement on drugs that pose a major risk of causing or exacerbating heart failure, the 2019 Beers Criteria update, or a previously-described list of medications associated with geriatric syndromes; and 3) competing conditions and subsequent medications that could create therapeutic competition. The prevalence of polypharmacy was 74%, and the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications was 100%. Competing conditions were present in 81% of patients, of whom 49% took a medication that created therapeutic competition.
In addition to confirming that polypharmacy was highly prevalent, we found that potentially inappropriate medications and therapeutic competition were also frequently present. This supports the urgent need to develop patient-centered approaches to mitigate the negative effects of complex medication regimens endemic to adults with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.