More than one out of every three 60-year-olds is currently taking five or more prescription medications, so it’s no wonder that problems occur from overmedication. Polypharmacy in older adults is defined as “…when an adverse drug effect is misinterpreted as a new medical problem – leading to the prescribing of more medication to treat the initial drug-induced symptom,” and can cause a number of additional health risks or worsen existing health conditions.
It’s a good idea for older adults and their caregivers to work together on a plan of de-prescribing. These tips can help:
Compile a list of all medications the senior is taking, including prescription meds, over-the-counter meds, and vitamins/herbal supplements, and share with the senior’s physician and pharmacist.
Request an evaluation of the medications themselves as … Read More »
With many older adults taking multiple prescriptions, and with physicians adding and changing dosages and medications to determine the ideal solutions, it’s essential to know where to safely dispose of unused medications. There are several options:
Check labels. The medication’s label or informational literature might provide instructions on how to properly dispose of the drug. You could also consult the pharmacist for suggestions.
Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This is the suggested method to properly dispose of unwanted medications, and is held once a year in locations across the country by the United States Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. Discover the location closest to you as well as the next date for the event here.
Exercise caution before flushing medication down the toilet. Flushing medications down the toilet … Read More »