Patients with COPD and other chronic diseases are at greater risk of adverse mediation events due to multiple prescriptions.

Researchers from the University of Glasgow found people with COPD, a long-term lung condition common in those who have smoked, are more likely to be prescribed multiple medications contributing to potential adverse effects like falls, bleeding, kidney damage, constipation, urinary retention, and drowsiness.

People with COPD were more likely to have other chronic illnesses and to be simultaneously prescribed three or more drugs with similar potential side-effects.

“Going forward clinical guidelines need to start emphasizing the importance of the assessment of multi-morbidity and adverse drug reaction risk,” researchers said.