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Polypharmacy, or the taking of multiple medications, is a common situation for the older individual in today's society. It reflects a change in the focus of medical care for the elderly person from a caring to a curing treatment. Nurses play a major role in identifying people receiving multiple medications and in helping to evaluate their effectiveness. Suggestions for obtaining a complete drug history are presented along with explanations of the role of age-related changes on the effect of those medications on the elderly.