Aging Gracefully: Reducing the Risks of Polypharmacy

Posted on

Oct 06, 2017

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It is no secret that we are living longer. Unfortunately, we are not necessarily living healthier.
An ever-growing percentage of the population is managing one or more medical conditions, which are managed by one or more medicines.

While medicines can help maintain health and prevent further illness, taking combinations of drugs means that you could be at risk for drug interactions. Polypharmacy is defined as the concurrent use of many different medicines by the same person, and presents a growing risk among seniors in the US. This can result in a gradual accumulation of side effects. Problems may be increased by taking:

Dosages that are too high
Medicines that are incorrectly prescribed or filled
Medicines that interact with or duplicate the actions of other medicines
Herbal supplements that interact with prescription medicines

Polypharmacy can result in adverse drug events, complicating therapy, increasing cost, and presenting a challenge for healthcare agencies. Unfortunately, the symptoms caused by polypharmacy can be confused with the normal aging process.

The good news is there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of polypharmacy.

Make a list of every medicine you are taking, including supplements, vitamins, and over-the-counter drugs.
Carry your medicine list with you everywhere. Bring it and your pill bottles along when you see the doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to check your list for possible interactions.
If you have more than one doctor, make sure each one knows what the other is prescribing.
Ask your primary doctor if you need to take all the medicines on the list, or if you can reduce the dosages.
Always read labels. They may help you avoid a possible drug interaction.
Always get your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy.
Learn the names of your medicines and why you take them.
Avoid combination products like cold remedies. Ask for help buying only the specific medicine that treats the symptoms you are experiencing.
Never take a new drug without discussing side effects and interactions with your doctor, pharmacist, or both.

Editors Note:This article was written by Peterson E with PowerBack Rehabilitation. For more information please call 888-982-2000.

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The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Georgetown Loop Railroad provide unforgettable journeys through the states picturesque landscapes.Book your ride at Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Georgetown Loop Railroad websites. Hot SpringsColorados hot springs are perfect for seniors seeking relaxation and therapeutic benefits. Locations like Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs offer serene environments where seniors can unwind and rejuvenate.Plan your visit to Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs websites.6. Educational ProgramsLifelong LearningSeniors in Colorado have access to numerous lifelong learning opportunities. 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