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Elders tend to take several medications because they often have several chronic disorders - each requiring at least one drug treatment. They also may see several different doctors to treat their various conditions, and they may receive prescriptions for different medications from each one. At the same time, these patients may take over-the-counter medications to self-treat problems such as heartburn, pain, and urinary tract problems. Because older people take more medications than their younger counterparts, and because the risk of medication side effects is greater as the number of medications increases, elders are at greater risk for adverse reactions. Your physician can help you protect your older family member from possible adverse drug events. You can help by making sure the person’s physicians know what medications he or she is taking. One way to do this is to gather all of the medications - including over-the-counter drugs - that your elder family member/friend is taking and take them to the doctor. He or she can look at them and let you know if there are any potential interactions, if any drugs might be stopped or changed, or if there are other medication issues that can be addressed.

AMDA physicians in regions throughout the country have information and guidance on this topic. You can listen to practitioners offer insights about polypharmacy and how to keep your family member/friend safe and comfortable if he or she is taking multiple medications.*

J. Kenneth Brubaker, MD, CMD

Pennsylvania Click this button to listen to interview

Charles A. Cefalu, MD, MS

Louisiana Click this button to listen to interview

Thiruvinva S. Dharmarajan, MD, FACP

New York Click this button to listen to interview

Todd H. Goldberg, MD, CMD

West Virginia Click this button to listen to interview

Paul Y. Takahashi, MD, CMD

Minnesota Click this button to listen to interview

Edward Warren, MD, CMD

South Carolina Click this button to listen to interview
*Requires a program that plays MP3 audio files

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