As advances in age, the emergence of chronic illnesses often requires the prescription of a large number of medicines to be taken during the day, according to specific time patterns and respecting individual posology. Polytherapy is defined as the co-prescription of several drugs and it is well known that the intake of more than 5 drugs leads to high probability of interactions between active molecules, with adverse reactions risk. In facts, numerous studies have shown that simultaneous intake of a high number of medications not only increases the risk of side effects and interactions, but also modifies the physical balance of the older people, exposing them to a potential risk of frailty, affecting their cognitive and/or psychological balance as well.
A network for coordinating older people education, able to provide access to correct information on therapies, is actually missing. Addressing this need, the project proposed by a group of researchers of the Department of Drug Science and Technology (DSTF) for HackUniTo4Ageing, has the main objective of creating an information/education network about the proper use of the medications and health products (e.g. dietary supplements, cosmetics, etc.).
Implementing patients knowledge about their therapies and educating them to use correctly medicines, may help preventing the transition from "active elderly" to "frail elderly”.
The training network on the correct use of health products and medicines should involve different professional figures (e.g. doctors, pharmacists, nutritionists, etc.) and include advices about the use of personal care products and body hygiene practices.