The FDA has issued advice to older people and carers to prevent health problems caused by medication issues.
Older people are particularly at risk, as they are more likely to take different medicines. Physical changes can also affect the way in which the body handles them, leading to the possibility of complications. Companies often conduct Paid Research Studies to help find out what side effects and risks can occur when trialling new medications and this should help to reduce any risk.
There is also the risk of issues such as harmful drug interactions, meaning that it is important for them and their carers be aware of the dangers and take steps to minimise the potential for problems.
Follow prescription advice
Just as some people look to experienced companies to help, older people on medication must take notice of their health care provider’s recommendations and instructions.
It is not advisable to take prescription medications not specifically prescribed for them, to skip doses or to stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting a professional. It is also important to talk to a healthcare provider about any bothersome side effects.
Keep a list of medication
According to the FDA, older people on medication should make a list of the drugs and dosage they are on and keep this with them. They should also think about giving a copy of the list to a friend or relative.
Look out for side effects and drug interactions
Drugs can react with other drugs, herbal preparations and supplements. They can also react with food and drink, or react in a certain way as the result of a person’s own physiological reaction. This is why it can pay for older people to spend some time making themselves aware of potential side effects and possible interactions.
This research can take the form of reading the labels supplied with over-the-counter drugs, for example, and considering the information provided with prescription medication.
Take part in medication reviews
At each visit, older people should discuss their prescription, over-the-counter drugs and any dietary supplements they are taking with their health care provider. This will ensure that medication is not taken if it is unnecessary and should minimise the risk of dangerous interactions or excess dosages.
If this is not possible, it is important to schedule at least one medication review each year. Older people should also feel free to discuss cost-effective medication choices if budgetary concerns are an issue.