Too few seniors know of the risks in taking multiple medications. Some drug interactions can result in negative outcomes such as high blood sugar, kidney disease, and accidents caused by drowsiness. Moreover, drug interaction can prevent the drugs from properly absorbing.
Seniors: Ignorance of Drug Interactions
A poll done by the University of Michigan Medical School questioned 1,700 adults ages 50 to 80. Only thirty three percent of the respondents who take at least one prescription drug had talked to a health care professional about possible drug interactions in the past two years, the results showed. Moreover, seniors taking six or medications a day, less than 50% talked to their doctors or other health professionals about potential negative drug interactions.
Seniors: Drug Interaction Ignorance, Who To Blame?
The use of multiple pharmacies and doctors may play a role in this lack of communication. For instance, 20% of respondents said they had used more than one pharmacy in the past two years, including retail and mail-order. And 60% see more than one doctor for their care.
Furthermore, 60% of respondents said they believe their doctor and pharmacist are equally responsible for identifying and talking about possible drug interactions. But only 36% said their pharmacist knows about all the medications they’re taking when they fill a prescription.
And while 90% of respondents said they were confident that they knew how to avoid drug interactions, only 21% were very confident.
Senior patients need to be candid with their providers and tell them all the medications and supplements they’re taking, including herbal remedies. Failure to disclose can lead to negative consequences.