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Pin It Polypharmacy — taking multiple medications for different conditions — can be a potential health hazard for seniors. The importance of medication management cannot be overstated, especially when taking medications simultaneously to treat different conditions and symptoms.
The Cost of Polypharmacy A quick look at the numbers is sobering. Pill dispensers, organizers and even reminder services can also be useful tools for some.
That being said, nothing substitutes for responsible caregiver advocacy and being proactive about the drugs we and our loved ones are taking. Here are some other tips to keep in mind: Ask your provider if the dosage is age-appropriate. Because of the way our bodies metabolize various drugs as we get older, seniors can be more sensitive to some drugs and less sensitive to others.
They are also more likely to Medication managment adverse effects. Be aware of medications deemed unsafe for seniors.
The Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adultsput together by the American Geriatric Society, is a list of medications that older adults should avoid or use with caution.
Some pose a higher risk of side effects or interactions, while others are simply less effective. Bring a medications list — or the medications themselves — to the doctor with you.
Check on prescriber behavior in Prescriber Checkup. Closely monitor medication compliance in the cognitively impaired. If they are simply having trouble tracking their medications, a reminder system may be helpful, but the situation is more serious if your loved one is cognitively impaired. Taking medications incorrectly can be harmful or fatal.
Create and maintain an up-to-date medication list. Get a second opinion if you are uncertain. Not all providers are alike, and there are, unfortunately, some doctors who prescribe medications inappropriately, in excess, or for unapproved uses. Know the side effect profile of your medications.
Knowing the potential side effects and interactions can help you stay alert to any health changes that may occur in response to a new medication or combination of medications.
If you do notice health changes, contact a physician right away.
This will help the provider properly diagnose the problem — and help the patient avoid unnecessary or dangerous medications. Make sure the pharmacy label says why you are taking the prescription.
This is particularly important for older adults who are taking multiple medications, to ensure that they know what each medication is for and how to take it properly.
Minimize the number of providers and pharmacists you use. Keeping the number of doctors and pharmacies to a minimum is better for you and better for the providers who must coordinate care. Talk to the pharmacist and ask questions. You should also talk to your provider if you are thinking of stopping a medication.
Tell your provider about any previous adverse drug effects. This one might go without saying, but if you or your loved one has had a bad reaction to any medication in the past, let your doctor and pharmacist know. Have you or a loved one ever experienced a health scare related to polypharmacy or incorrect medication management?
Share your experiences with our readers in the comments.Physician POC services. Medication dispensing, toxicology, compounds and pharmacy. Earn ancillary revenue with transparent billing, collections and accounting. Checking the medication adherence pouches before sending them out is a must.
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