Improving Patient Outcomes by Managing Polypharmacy

Pharmacy Tech CEU
Contact Hours: 1.0 (0.1 CEUs)

Course Summary

Patients may be diagnosed with multiple chronic conditions that require the use of multiple medications to maintain or improve patient outcomes. This is known as polypharmacy. However, there are situations where the therapeutic benefits of multiple medications are outweighed by the harm the medications may cause to the patient. Harm includes adverse events and poor health outcomes. Polypharmacy occurs when patients have co-occurring physical and mental health conditions (e.g., diabetes and schizophrenia) or when a patient is frail and suffers from chronic pain. Three classes of drugs reported to contribute to 60% of emergency room visits for adverse drug reactions include blood thinners, opioids, and medications for patients with diabetes. Strategies to reduce possible harmful effects of polypharmacy include rigorous patient-centered medication reviews and raising patient awareness about the risks of polypharmacy. Monitoring systems can also be used to capture polypharmacy data. Exploratory research and a multidisciplinary healthcare team approach are two methods to reduce the devastating effects of polypharmacy on the quality of life of patients.

Course Objectives

Describe what polypharmacy means in healthcare

Identify patient settings where polypharmacy can occur

List common therapeutics associated with polypharmacy

Describe the safety concerns of polypharmacy and ways to minimize them

I. Introduction

II. History of Polypharmacy

III. What is Polypharmacy?

IV. Prevalence and Risks of Polypharmacy

V. Common Settings for Polypharmacy

VI. Comorbidities Commonly Seen in Polypharmacy

VII. Frequent Therapeutic Classes of Medications in Polypharmacy

VIII. Considerations to Reduce Polypharmacy

IX. What is Next in the Management of Polypharmacy

X. Summary

How to Earn Credit:
To earn credit for this course, participants must:
  1. Read the course objectives and faculty planner disclosure
  2. Read the course material
  3. Complete the post-test with a minimum score of 70% and complete the course evaluation form.
  4. Results are automatically submitted to CPE Monitor

Faculty Planner Disclosure

The following individuals were involved in the development of this activity: Pamela Sardo, PharmD, B.S., and Susan DePasquale, MSN, PMHNP-BC. Pamela Sardo, Pharm.D., B.S., was an employee of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals until March 2022 and has no conflicts of interest or relationships regarding the subject matter discussed. There are no financial relationships relevant to this activity to report or disclose by any of the individuals involved in the development of this activity.

Unlabeled Use Disclosures

The information provided in this course is general in nature and it is solely designed to provide participants with continuing education credit(s). This course and materials are not meant to substitute for the independent, professional judgment of any participant regarding that participant’s professional practice, including but not limited to patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment and/or health management. Medical and pharmacy practices, rules, and laws vary from state to state, and this course does not cover the laws of each state; therefore, participants must consult the laws of their state as they relate to their professional practice. Healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, must consult with their employer, healthcare facility, hospital, or other organization, for guidelines, protocols, and procedures they are to follow. The information provided in this course does not replace those guidelines, protocols, and procedures but is for academic purposes only, and this course’s limited purpose is for the completion of continuing education credits. Participants are advised and acknowledge that information related to medications, their administration, dosing, contraindications, adverse reactions, interactions, warnings, precautions, or accepted uses are constantly changing, and any person taking this course understands that such person must make an independent review of medication information prior to any patient assessment, diagnosis, treatment and/or health management. Any discussion of off-label use of any medication, device, or procedure is informational only and such uses are not endorsed hereby. Nothing contained in this course represents the opinions, views, judgments, or conclusions of LLC. LLC is not liable or responsible to any person for any inaccuracy, error, or omission with respect to this course, or course material.

Computer Hardware/Software Requirements

Please ensure the device you plan to use meets these requirements and specifications:

  • Operating System: Windows 7,8,10, or 11 /Mac OS X 10.9 or later/iOS/Android
  • Supported Browsers: Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera
  • A connection to the internet
  • For Live Webinars or Conferences: GoToWebinar application for iOS, Android, Mac, or PC. You cannot 'call into' a live conference.

  • Target Audience: Pharmacy Tech
  • Contact Hours: 1.0 (0.1 CEUs)
  • Activity Release Date: 3/25/2023
  • Activity Expiration Date: 3/25/2026
  • Activity Type: Knowledge
  • UAN: 0669-0000-23-052-H01-T
  • Topic: Disease State Management/Drug Therapy
  • CeBroker Number: 20-1005288


Pamela Sardo, Pharm.D., B.S.



The logo for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)., LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

The logo for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
PTCB Course Recognition, LLC, offers pharmacy technician continuing education courses for PTCB recertification. Pharmacy technician courses are indicated both in the Target Audience description and the ACPE UAN which will end with a "T".

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