MHP Warns about Harmful Drug Interactions
As part of National Drug Facts week, Mahaska Health Partnership cautions seniors about hazardous drug interactions.
MHP Pharmacist John Agan said, “it’s important for all people to be familiar with the medicines they are taking. “As a person gets older, they are often prescribed numerous medications by multiple doctors for various conditions,” Agan explained. “If a patient does not disclose medications they are taking, they might be given something that could produce a negative drug interaction.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests creating a detailed list of all medication you are taking including prescription, over- the- counter, supplements and herbal. The list should include the name of the medicine, the doctor who prescribed it, how much and how often to take, instructions on how to take it, what it is taken for and the expected side effects.
Agan said an important thing patients can do to help their doctors is to keep a side effects log. “When you’re prescribed a new medicine, keep track of how it makes you feel and whether it had the desired outcome. From the log, your doctor may adjust your dose or try something different. Not all medicines work the same for all people.”
According to the FDA, body changes can affect how fast medicines enter the blood stream. “Changes in body mass can influence the amount of medicine you need and how long it stays in your body,” Agan explained.
The FDA also suggests utilizing your pharmacist as a resource. They said a pharmacist can explain your medications, how and when to take it and what interactions may occur. “I always recommend patients use one pharmacy. That way, the pharmacist will have a list of all of your prescribed medications. When you are prescribed something new, you can ask the pharmacist to review your profile to check for possible interactions,” Agan stressed.
Taking medicine as prescribed is very important to a person’s overall health, however; if the doctor prescribes it without a complete medicine history, it may not produce the intended results. To find out more about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit mahaskahealth.org.