Navigating Healthcare – Patient Safety and Personal Healthcare Management

Too Many Drugs

Posted in Healthcare Information, Medication, Personal Health Record by drnic on November 18, 2008

Medicine has a term for causing disease or problems – iatrogenic (derived from the Greek iatros for physician)

Medications are a prime concern and issue and there has been some resurgence in interest – in part driven by the costs concerns (drugs are expensive and each side effect or additional symptom often begets another expensive drug treatment thereby multiplying cost) and also because of the increasing problems and complexity of the team based approach to patient care with many clinicians prescribing, often without the knowledge of other prescriptions the patient has been given or is taking.
This post on Over medication covers the issue well and features some good advice on how to avoid the problems. The best advice is keeping a running list of drugs including those that have been used int he past, when they were started and stopped and any record of side effects that resolved as a result of stopping a drug treatment

The remainder include:

  • Asking if you can stop them
  • Using the same pharmacy (on the assumption they track and store and therefore can warn you of drug-drug interactions)
  • Knowing what each drug is for and what the possible side effects are
  • Being honest about all your medications including Over the Counter (OTC) that you don’t need a prescription for
  • Using pill boxes to help monitor compliance

All good advice and in particular trying to reduce the drugs is a good idea….. just because you see an advert for a drug does not mean it is the right treatment for you.

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