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Managing Your Medications

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Problem

We've been hearing a lot lately, about how taking multiple medications can be risky. Many older adults take several medications to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure. The way our bodies react to medication changes as we age, too. This can lead to older adults having problems keeping track of their medications and managing potential side effects.

Possible Negative Effects

Taking multiple medications can affect your balance. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury. There is also the risk of drug interactions. Some drugs interact with other prescription and over the counter medications, while others may interact with certain foods.

How to Help Yourself

The best way to make sure you are getting the most from your medications is to keep an updated list of them. Record all of your prescription and over-the-counter drugs and dosages. Make a note of why you take each one and be sure to jot down any unpleasant feelings or sensations you have for more than a couple of days – they could be side effects or drug interactions. Keep this list with you and go over it with your doctor at every visit.

Download a printable template from ASHP Foundation to track your medications.