Alzheimer's Association Southeast Florida Chapter Goes Purple for Prescription Medication Safety
Promoting Drug and Pill Awareness for Seniors with Alzheimer’s
Dementia Prescriptions, Alzheimer’s Supplements and Over-the-Counter Drugs, Oh My
The United States population over age 65 (and so many of our loved ones) are taking many medications. It is estimated that 40% of those over age 65 take five or more prescription medications! When four or more medications are prescribed, it is known as “polypharmacy”. Polypharmacy has been defined simply as “the use of multiple medications”, and more specifically as“the simultaneous use of multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition, or the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient, for one or more conditions.”
How safe are prescription medications when they are combined with “over-the-counter” medications and supplements? This can be a very difficult question to answer, and will depend on the specific medications (prescription and non-prescription) and supplements the patient is taking!A recent New York Times Magazine article illustrated this point.
This article told the story of a 69-year old man who was unexpectedly found to have symptoms of a stroke. His partner worried when she noticed him slurring his words and noticed his “lopsided” face. She helped him dress and drove him to the emergency room. He had suffered two strokes and a heart attack in the past, but was carefully monitored on blood pressure and blood-thinning. The patient’s partner brought all his medication and supplement bottles to the hospital for the doctors to review. One bottle was a supplement that he had recently starting taking – turmeric and it was NOT on his list of known medications.
It is important to review all dementia and Alzheimer medications with a Doctor or primary care professional. For more about this story and case study affecting Senior Alzheimer’s adults who may be taking several different medications please read more here.
Source 2: https://www.newsweek.com/prescription-drugs-rise-new-estimates-suggest-60-americans-take-least-one-390354
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