When a doctor tells you to take a prescription, you take it. Most people don’t question their doctors, but we should. Any person taking more than 5 medications is at serious risk of dangerous interactions.
Polypharmacy: pol·y·phar·ma·cyˌ pälēˈfärməsē/
– the simultaneous use of multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition.
– the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient, for one or more conditions.
Most people have a primary care physician, and any number of specialists so it’s important that all your doctors are clued in to exactly what medicines you are taking, including over-counter pain killers, allergy medicines, and even vitamins and supplements. They can all have side-effects when mixed. Make a list of everything, including the dosage and strength of each one, and bring it with you to every doctor.
How do you know if you are taking too many medicines?
Here are a few hints:
1- You’re seeing several physicians. Doctors don’t communicate with each other very well, so it’s your responsibility to share information.
2- You suddenly develop new symptoms. When you add a new drug to your regimen, often it will trigger unexpected and unusual side-effects.
3- You struggle to keep up with dosages. This is common, even with those plastic daily pill containers. It’s confusing.
4- Your mental health is suffering. You may experience more forgetfulness, and that can be a serious signal that you are taking too many medicines.
5- You feel more pain. Often the combination of many drugs can cause pain, even if one of the drugs is a painkiller. It may seem crazy, but it’s true.
In addition to the list of medications, it’s a good idea to keep a list of how you feel. Write down how you feel at different times of day and keep a notebook. When you look at your medications and compare it to your physical condition you and your doctor may be able to see that there is a correlation.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been working with people who have been hurt by prescription drug mistakes made by doctors, pharmacies, or pharmacists. We have developed a special expertise in this area and we understand the many different siuations that often arise from polypharmacy.
Please call us at 954-356-0006 if you have any questions or would like to meet.