Studies have revealed that an average senior takes up to six prescription drugs as well as three to four over-the-counter medications.
Taking that much medication can lead to improper use such as mixing them up, taking the wrong dose, or taking medications that will react negatively when taken together.
That is why it is not surprising that many of these people end up in hospital emergency rooms and doctor’s offices.
Many seniors that have been prescribed new medications after leaving a hospital or rehab center, or that have been brought to a new doctor because of a recently diagnosed health issue, are confused how these new medications will affect the drugs they took before. Now-a-days many older people see multiple doctors for their various different health issues, and this can also lead to confusion due to not having one individual who provides oversight on all the different medications they take.
There are many myths about taking medication. For example:
Education is the best way to improve medication compliance by offering information on drug and food interactions, explaining the differences between brand and generic name drugs, offering tips about reducing costs, providing safeguards on purchases over the Internet, and giving general do’s and don’ts.
Patients with chronic conditions that take multiple medications may find that one drug interacts or interferes with the effectiveness of another drug. Nausea, dizziness, heartburn, faintness, fatigue, drop in blood pressure, blurred vision, and personality or cognitive issues are all side effects that can happen unexpectedly. These can cause an elderly person to fall, or mimic the symptoms of an unrelated health condition.
Many elderly also choose to purchase drugs from Internet pharmacies that may be more affordable. Experts encourage people not to purchase anything without a proper medical examination, to stay away from medications that are not FDA-approved, to avoid sites that do not require a written prescription, and to resist claims of “new cures” or “amazing results.”