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Geriatric Care Managers and adult children caring for aging parents have a tool for evaluating risk for medication-related probl

Posted Jun 10 2009 6:43pm
Geriatric Care Managers and adult children caring for aging parents have a tool to assess for medication-related problems. Modern medicines can work wonders. Appropriate, safe, and effective use of medications can help you stay active, healthy, productive, and happy as you age. You can swim, sail, golf, or dance into your 80s and 90s!
But as you age, changes in the way your body reacts to medications and taking many medications can put you at risk for harmful side effects.
If you are 65 years or older and answer “YES” three or more of the questions below, consider making an appointment with a senior care pharmacist to determine what steps you can take to reduce the possibility of having harmful side effects.
Do you currently take five or more prescription medications?
Do you take 12 or more medication doses each day?
Do you take any of the following medications?
• carbamazepine (brand name: Tegretol®)
• lithium (brand name: Eskalith®)
• phenytoin (brand names: Dilantin®, Phenytek®)
• quinidine (brand name: Quinidex®)
• warfarin (brand name: Coumadin®)
• digoxin (brand names: Lanoxin®, Lanoxicaps®)
• phenobarbital
• procainamide (brand names: Procanabid®, Pronestyl®)
• theophylline (brand names: Theo-dur®, Theo-24®, Slo-bid™, Uniphyl®)

Are you currently taking medications for three or more medical problems?
Have your medications or the instructions on how to take them been changed four or more times this past year?
Does more than one physician prescribe medications for you on a regular basis?
Do you get your prescriptions filled at more than one pharmacy?
Does someone else bring any of your medications to your home for you (such as a delivery person from the pharmacy, a spouse, friend, or a neighbor)?
Is it difficult for you to remember to take all of your medications or do you sometimes choose not to?
Are you confused or uncertain about why you take any of your medicines?
If you answered “YES” to three or more of these questions, gather the following information and contact a senior care pharmacist:
• Current medication list that includes not only prescription drugs but also over-the-counter items and herbal products
• Drugs you have taken in the past that have caused allergic reactions, adverse reactions, or intolerable side effect(s)
• Names and phone numbers of the doctors who are treating you and the names and dosages of the medicines they have prescribed
• Pharmacy or pharmacies you have used to fill each prescription
• List of your medical conditions and diseases.
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