There is a national epidemic and it is getting worse over patients taking combinations of medications that do more harm than good called Polypharmacy. People see several types of physicians and each gives medication prescriptions. No-one is checking to advise on side effects or possible problems combining the medications.
We all know that the medical system is a lot better at prescribing medications than at stopping ones that are no longer needed… deprescribing. Doing so, carefully under medical supervision, reduces the adverse effects and often improves health.
Polypharmacy is associated with a host of adverse side effects including increased risk for falls and cognitive impairment that can lead to emergency room visits and hospitalization, also, dementia. The problem often gets worse as one ages your body’s ability decreases to process the meds. .
Ask your doctor or doctors to review all your medications. Put all your prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and other supplements in a bag and take them to your doctor and ask for a review. Also, bring a list of dosages. Group drugs together on the list by their purpose..heart drugs, pain drugs, etc.
If you develop a new health problem, raise the possibility that drugs are causing it,
- Explore lifestyle changes that can reduce the need for certain prescriptions.
- Be aware of the risks of discontinuing certain medications too quickly.
- Ask questions about any new medication. “How will you know whether it’s working”. “What side effects should you watch for”. “how long should you take it”.
- Talk to your pharmacist about the side effects, etc.