Research and Initiatives

The FPP provides innovative collaborative support for research and initiatives to drive new directions in polypharmacy awareness, skills and research.

Below are a few examples of innovative content from the UofL FPP

Research Reports demonstrating the impact of polypharmacy on clinical and population health science:

Polypharmacy Interactions Impacting Methacholine Challenge Testing for Asthma Assessment in Older People. This study found that polypharmacy burden may influence clinical assessments. In this case, anticholinergic burden and statin use was associated with a negative methacholine challenge test result compared to participants with lower or no anticholinergic medications or statins “on board” during testing.  This is a group of participants who should have all had positive methacholine test results. 

Examining the relationship between long working hours and the use of prescription sedatives among US workers. This study looked at the association of sedative use in persons who work long hours with the theoretic framework of the association of shift work, sleep depriving hours, and long working hours might be associated with increased sedative use.  At first, the analysis using known sedatives such as zolpidem and temazepam did not result in a strong association, but when we included drugs with sedative properties (not just FDA labeled as sedatives), the association was very strong.  Drugs with sedative properties which are not sedative are numerous including opioids, gabapentin, sedating antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, and more. The study reveals that the typical perspective that people use “sleeping pills” for insomnia is not entirely accurate. There is a convergence of long working hours (stress and depression) and the use of any medication (and possibly substance such as alcohol not studied in this database), tells the real-world story.  The story draws attention to the idea that medications alone are not the remedy and other approaches should be developed such as sleep hygiene, addressing policy, environmental and societal factors driving long working hours, and more.

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