Is It Time to Stop One of Your Meds?

Pills on Table
Image Source: Rawpixel/Unsplash

According to a new study released by the journal Annals of Family Medicine, nearly half of people who take certain types of prescription drugs continue taking them for longer than is recommended or safe. The prescription drugs include antidepressants, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and bisphosphonates (osteoporosis and bone density treatments).1 Most of these medications are only meant to be taken for a certain period, otherwise they can become less effective, less useful, or can lead to more serious side effects.

How Does This Happen?

The authors of this study attribute some of the results to “legacy prescribing”, a situation that occurs when doctors who start someone on a prescription for a good reason may later renew it without a full assessment of whether or not it’s still needed. Per Nitin S. Damle, M.D., past president of the American College of Physicians and a physician in private practice in Rhode Island, “If there’s no follow-up and [patients’] prescriptions are just renewed electronically, there’s very little thought as to whether they need to be on it or not.”

What’s the Risk?

One of the biggest potential dangers of continuing a prescription for too long is that every on going prescription increases thechances of drugs interacting and causing a harmful reaction.2 There is also an increased risk in side effects and unnecessary costs due to non-optimized medication therapy.

What Should You Do?

If you’re worried about your current medication regime, here are a few tips to help you feel confident in what you’re taking:

  • Discuss all your current medications with your doctor, at least once a year.
    • If you have multiple doctors, it can be difficult to ensure they’re all on the same page. At your annual checkup, talk to your primary doctor about all your current medications.
  • Talk to your doctor about reducing your medications
    • While your doctor will know what dosage is best for you, it never hurts to have a yearly discussion to see if you can lower any of your medication dosages. This helps in combating legacy prescribing.
  • If your health plan includes Tria Health, you can talk with a clinically trained pharmacist and review all your current medications (prescription, over the counter and supplements). Tria Health’s pharmacists will help make sure your medications are effectively treating your condition(s) and identify and cost savings opportunities.

For more tips, click here.

Have any Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. https://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/should-you-stop-taking-that-medication/?EXTKEY=AMSNLF01
  2. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/healthyliving/should-you-still-be-taking-that-medicine/ar-BBPDpo6?li=BBnba9O

Can Your Medications Increase Your Sensitivity to The Sun?

Woman at the beach covering her face with a hat
Image Source: Tomas Salas/Unsplash

We’re all aware that most medications can have a variety of side effects, but did you know that one of them can be an increased sensitivity to the sun? There are a multitude of medications that can increase your risk of sunburn or even cause photosensitivity. Summer is almost here, so be sure you’re prepared to stay safe in the sun!

How Can a Medication Increase My Sun Sensitivity?1

Photosensitivity is a reaction set off by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and can result in two different reactions.

  1. Phototoxic Reaction: Occurs when UV radiation reacts with a drug to form compounds that damage the skin.
    • Results: Sunburn-like symptoms
  1. Photoallergic Reaction: This is less common, but usually happens when UV light changes a substance applied to the skin, causing an immune response.
    • Results: Bumps, hives, blisters, or red blotches

How to Prevent Sun Sensitivity2

  1. Check Your Meds: Check prescription medications to see if sun sensitivity is listed as a side effect.
  2. Hydrate: Drink plenty of water!
  3. Cover Up: Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing or try to stay in the shade as much as you can!

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/beware-of-sunburn-boosters#1
  2. https://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/can-your-meds-make-you-more-sensitive-to-sun-and-heat/