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How To Avoid Drug Interactions

Drug interactions are when a drug is taken along with another substance that then causes the drug to perform differently.  Drug interactions are important to be aware of and know how to avoid because of the potential harm they can cause.  According to a recent poll from the National Poll on Healthy aging through the University of Michigan, 90 percent of older adults reported they were certain of how to avoid medication interactions, when then only 35 percent reported they had consulted someone about possible interactions.  This information demonstrates the need for additional education to people, specifically older adults, on how they can be responsible for their healthcare.  Often, older adults are taking one or more medicines and will see multiple healthcare providers and/or fill their prescriptions at different pharmacies.  This allows room for miscommunication among one’s healthcare and could lead to confusion about drug interactions.

How can you avoid drug interactions?  Take the time to write down a list of all medications you are prescribed and any over the counter aids and report these to your doctor and pharmacist.  Have a conversation with your doctor and pharmacist about the drugs you are taking and ask about drug interactions and/or what you can expect with taking them.  There are many resources available online that can help you track the medications you take, and should be used simultaneously with consulting healthcare providers.

As healthcare providers it is important to take a thorough consultation of patients medications and in turn, take the time to explain possible side effects and drug interactions. Help spread awareness to family, friends, patients and coworkers by encouraging conversations about potential drug interactions.  For more information and resources, visit the complete article here: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-11-lack-older-adults-clashes-medicines.html

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