Are you currently taking a prescription medication? Per the government’s National Health Survey, about 20 percent of adults are taking three or more drugs. While medications can turn once fatal diseases into manageable, chronic conditions, those taking five or more medications were nearly twice as likely to seek medical care than those taking one or two meds.1 It’s important to understand what medications you’re taking, and the steps you need to follow to reduce your risk of adverse drug reactions.
How do Adverse Drug Reactions Happen?1
There are three primary causes of dangerous prescription drug use:
- Hyper-specialized doctors: Many patients with chronic conditions have multiple physicians. While this can benefit the patient by providing them with specialized resources, the lack of communication between health care providers can sometimes lead to the prescribing of drugs that interact negatively.
- Prescription cascades: The risk of side effects comes with every medication. Prescription cascades occur when new medications are prescribed in an effort to treat the sides effects of other medications.
- Poor research: Unfortunately for older adults, drug trials are often focused on young adults. This can lead to a lack of information regarding the negative effects of individual drugs or interactions among multiple drugs.
Simple Steps to Avoid Adverse Drug Reactions
- Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about any new medications. Make sure they know about any vitamins and supplements you are currently taking.
- Follow all the dosing instructions listed on each of your medications.
- Keep an updated medication list on hand for any of your medical appointments.
- You can also use AARP’s online drug interaction checker.
Tria Health can help
If Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible adverse drug reactions or savings opportunities!