Researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center report in the Dec. 24/31, 2008 issue of JAMA that more than half of older Americans take five or more prescription medications — and that an alarming number of these seniors risk harmful drug interactions.
We’ve warned of drug interactions here before — and have recommended sites like DoubleCheckMD.com to make sure your drug regimen is safe. This latest study reinforces the importance of such precautions.
According to the researchers, at least one in 25 older adults take multiple drugs in combinations that can produce a harmful drug interaction. That’s 2.2 million seniors in the United States.
Nearly half of the drug interactions identified in the study put seniors at risk for bleeding problems. One of the most common was taking warfarin, a medication to prevent blood clots, along with an over-the-counter drug such as aspirin, which also interferes with clotting.225