The final part in a three-part series focused on patients with multiple medications
This is the third and final column in a series that takes a look at the issue of polypharmacy — too many medicines prescribed by too many doctors for too many conditions and possibly too many pharmacies involved in the dispensing of said medicines. Sound like a problem? It certainly can be.
You have heard the adage “knowledge is power,” right? This is an instance where that is so very true. The more you know about the medicines you are taking and what they are supposed to do, the better equipped you will be to alert your health care provider (HCP) if you think something is amiss.
Following is a list of questions compiled by the Family Caregiver Alliance of the National Center on Caregiving that you may want to ask any time a medication is being recommended for you or a loved one.
This may seem like an overwhelming list of questions, but if you are already taking several medicines, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter, the conversation between you and your HCP that will ensue can be invaluable. You can never take for granted that a new medicine will work well, right away, with no side effects or interactions with ones you may already be taking.
So remember, knowledge is power when it comes to you and your loved ones’ medication regimens. Keep a good list, share it with all your HCPs and make sure you know what is being prescribed and why before you leave the office. You can do your part to make sure that polypharmacy and medication errors are not a part of your health scenario.
Pam Maxson is a health educator at Noyes Hospital in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-335-4327.