THURSDAY, March 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Polypharmacy and complex medication regimens are common in patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD), according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Respirology.

Yet H. Khor, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues evaluated medication regimen complexity before and after introduction of ILD-specific therapies among 214 patients with ILD.

The researchers found that polypharmacy was common at baseline (51 percent of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [IPF] and 63 percent of patients with inflammatory ILD). Median total Medication Regimen Complexity Index (MRCI) scores significantly increased, from 8 to 22.5 for IPF and from 14.5 to 21.5 for inflammatory ILD, after introduction of ILD-specific therapies. For ILD-specific therapies, complex dosing instructions were the biggest contributors to total MRCI scores. Of the 113 patients receiving prednisolone, 88 percent had one or more potentially impacted comorbidities. Gastrointestinal diseases (56 percent), obesity (37 percent), osteoporosis (24 percent), and diabetes mellitus (18 percent) were common comorbidities.

“It’s exciting that we now have treatments with better evidence for managing patients with interstitial lung disease; however, a holistic approach with careful evaluation prior to treatment initiation is important to minimize treatment complexity and complications,” Khor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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