Seniors must be vigilant about drug interaction risk


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 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.

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Comments (3)

Risk of drug interaction certainly increases as we get older as most of us deal with more and more medical issues. It’s also important, at any age, to make sure you stick with one pharmacy so they can have all your information and read every paper the pharmacy issues with all the side effects and interaction issues that are common.

This is the same for elderly and even though young ones. It seems that now we have finally realized that mixing certain things can lead to more damage than good.

Not only do we have to be aware of prescription interaction with over-the-counter medications, it is also more and more important to be aware of how our prescriptions interact with herbal and natural medicine alternatives. As more and more people seek healthier alternatives we are seeing more and more of these types of interactions.

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