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Table 2 Various numerical only definitions of polypharmacy and associated terms in existing literature

From: What is polypharmacy? A systematic review of definitions

Term Number of medications Number of studies References
Polypharmacy ≥ 2 1 [13]
  2 to 9 1 [14]
  ≥ 3 1 [15]
  3 to 6 1 [16]
  ≥ 4 6 [17,18,19,20,21,22]
  ≥ 4 or ≥ 5 1 [23]
  ≥ 5 51 [11, 24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69,70,71,72,73]
  ≥ 6 10 [10, 74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81,82]
  ≥ 7 2 [83, 84]
  5 to 9 3 [85,86,87]
  ≥ 9 1 [88]
  ≥ 10 1 [89]
  ≥ 11 1 [90]
  number of drug classes 1 [91]
Minor Polypharmacy 2 to 4 6 [92,93,94,95,96,97]
  2 to 3 1 [98]
  0 to 4 1 [99]
Moderate polypharmacy 4 to 5 1 [98]
Major polypharmacy ≥ 5 6 [92,93,94,95, 97, 100]
  ≥ 6 3 [96, 98, 101]
  5 to 9 1 [99]
  ≥ 11 1 [74]
Hyperpolypharmacy ≥ 10 1 [102]
Excessive polypharmacy ≥ 10 7 [30, 58, 65, 70, 85,86,87]
  ≥ 21 1 [74]
Severe polypharmacy ≥ 10 1 [99]