Medical appropriateness index as a method for polypharmacy control

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Polypharmacy is a simultaneous administration of at least four medications to single patient. Frequently, polypharmacy cannot be avoided, e.g. in the elderly patients with comorbidity who require treatment with the different groups of drugs. Therefore, use of multiple drugs is not an indicator of poor treatment. Nevertheless, in many cases it may be inappropriate or related to self-treatment. Concerns about polypharmacy include increased adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, and higher costs. While there are multiple measures of potentially inappropriate prescribing, the Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI) is one of the most common approaches published in the scientific literature. The MAI consists of 10 questions that allow to rate medication choice as appropriate or inappropriate and to calculate a total score. The MAI appears to be a relatively reliable and valid measure of prescribing appropriateness and may be useful for research studies, quality improvement programs, and patient care.

Key words

MAI (Medication Appropriateness Index), polypharmacy, drug therapy, inappropriate treatment, drugs, adverse drug reactions.