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From poly- +‎ pharmacy, after Ancient Greek πολυφάρμακος (poluphármakos).


polypharmacy (uncountable)

  1. (medicine) The use of multiple drugs to treat multiple concurrent disorders in the same (now especially elderly) patient, chiefly with connotations of indiscriminate or excessive prescription. [from 18th c.]
    • 1997, Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, Folio Society 2016, p. 226:
      Critics denounced physicians as meddlesome, capriciously practising an often dangerous polypharmacy – a blunderbuss approach.
    • 2017, Laura Spinney, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, →ISBN:
      Faced with wheezing, blue-faced patients, they felt they had to do something, and the approach they adopted was polypragmatism, or polypharmacy: they threw the medicine cabinet at the problem.