Although polypharmacy is frequently acceptable for kids with terminal illnesses, it is also linked to an increase in hospitalizations, inappropriate prescriptions, and can negatively impact kids’ and families’ quality of life as they deal with demanding drug regimens. Nevertheless, little is understood about polypharmacy in this group of people. For a study, researchers sought to outline the frequency and trends of polypharmacy in a cohort of kids in England who have a life-limiting disease.

There was a study of children (aged 0 to 19) with a life-limiting illness seen between 2000 and 2015 in a nationwide database. Based on both special drugs and common pharmaceuticals, polypharmacy prevalence was calculated for each year using common criteria of polypharmacy. They investigated the polypharmacy-related characteristics using hierarchical regression analysis.

There were 15,829 people’s data provided. Every year, 8% to 12% of children received a prescription for ≥10, and 27% to 39% of children received a prescription for ≥5. Children with a congenital problem had a higher risk of polypharmacy than those with a respiratory (OR 7.6, 95% CI 6.4-9.0), neurological (OR 2.8, 95% CI 2.4-3.2), or metabolic (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.7-2.8) illness. Growing older, receiving an LLC diagnosis before the age of one, having less than 1 chronic or life-limiting ailment, and residing in more deprived locations were also linked to greater prevalences of polypharmacy.

There was a significant frequency of polypharmacy among children with life-limiting diseases, and some children were more at risk than others. To comprehend and address the factors that contribute to problematic polypharmacy in the population, more study was required.

Reference: jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(22)00758-8/fulltext