Some people may need to take a large number of medicines, but there are instances where the use of some medicines may be unnecessary.
This is where you have many illnesses or a complex medical condition that is being treated with more than one medicine, and where the potential benefits outweigh the potential harms. For example, a person with heart failure, high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) will be prescribed a range of heart medicines, all of which are likely to improve their health.
Bad or problematic polypharmacy
This is where you are treated with many medicines, where one or more of these medicines has potential harms that outweigh the potential benefits. For example, you may no longer need the medicine, the medicine may adversely interact with another medicine or you may not receive the intended benefit of many treatments.
Reducing problematic polypharmacy improves safety and quality of life, while also reducing waste.