Multiple drugs taken by senior citizens can lead to huge problems if not monitored.
Researchers at the National Institute of Health (NIH), calculate that 50 percent of adults between the ages of 70 and 79 take at least five prescription drugs-daily. And an additional 10 to 20 percent are taking 10 or more medications. That is a whopping number of drugs to be taking every single day. In certain cases, this can have negative consequences. However, the multitude of health issues experienced by many seniors, make this practice unavoidable.
Indeed, doctors have coined this practice ‘polypharmacy’.
And polypharmacy is becoming more common, especially among seniors.
Increasing number of seniors are taking many drugs. Several studies have found that its prevalence is increasing in recent years.
While medications are safer than ever before, taking so many drugs can be dangerous if not closely monitored.
The reason for concern is clear: Drug errors currently lead to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths each year. Moreover, taking this many medications every day comes with many risks, including cognitive impairment, falls, and negative interactions between drugs.
Multiple Drugs: Managing Medications For Seniors
Close monitoring of your drugs and when you take them is a must. Here are a few tips that can help you.
1. Make a list of all drugs you’re taking and review them with your doctor. Review each one and determine if they’re really necessary and the dosage prescribed.
Assessment Is Key
2. Review your over-the-counter usage. Also include any non-prescription pills you’re taking. Over-the-counter medications come with side effects, too, and can interact with other drugs you are taking.
To give one example — anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, are safe in usual doses, but can lead to stomach ulcers and bleeding if taken too often. Haroutounian says. Another drug to keep an eye on is acetaminophen.Tylenol has an ingredient is another such anti-inflammatory.
3. Ask your doctor-pharmacist questions before filling new prescriptions. Go over the details.. Ask about the potential side effects, as well as any interactions the medicine may have with other pills you take.
Keep in mind that not all medications work for all patients. It’s important to know how to tell if the medicine is working for you. Don’t be bashful. If you’re uncertain, ask the question.