Background: Diabetes mellitus is a complex chronic disease and people with diabetes estimated to reach 552 million by 2030 worldwide. World Health Organization stated that only 50% of patients diagnosed with a chronic illness were fully compliant with their treatment regime. Objectives: To test the hypothesis that adherence decreases with increase in number of medications prescribed in patients with type II diabetes mellitus. Materials and Methods: It was a comparative cross sectional study conducted in the department of medicine, medical college, Kozhikode. Patients visiting in the outpatient department of general medicine who satisfy the inclusion criteria were enrolled into the study. Patient medication adherence was measured by medication adherence questionnaire. Results analyzed using student’s t test. Results: A total of 218 type II diabetic patients enrolled in this 6 months study in which minor poly pharmacy accounts for 18 patients, and the remaining were major poly pharmacy regime. The average number of drugs prescribed was 4.71 ± 2.12. The mean value of medication adherence score is more in major poly pharmacy group (3.48) when compared with minor poly pharmacy group (1.96). Higher the value of medication adherence score lower is the value of medication adherence of the patient. Conclusion: Polypharmacy continues to be a significant issue and little research has been conducted regarding the relationship between medication adherence and poly pharmacy. Medication adherence is affected by certain factors other than the number of drugs prescribed.
Key words: Diabetes mellitus, Polypharmacy, Medication adherence, Patients, Compliance.