Patient Safety 5

Friday, March 08, 2013

We take more medicines than ever to maintain or improve our health. But if people use those medications incorrectly, it can have bad results. Dr. Edward Hill discusses medication safety in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Many medical problems now can be treated with medicines. But taking more medications can also result in some unexpected reactions, especially for people who take several drugs. Bad reactions to medications are on the rise.

Between 1997 and 2008, hospital admissions doubled among Americans age 45 and older for medication and drug-related conditions.

This increase has been driven by three types of medication and drug-related conditions:

Drug-induced delirium, which is general confusion and agitation caused by drugs.

Poisoning or overdose from codeine and other narcotic medicines.

Withdrawal from prescribed medicines or illegal drugs.

You can lower your chance of problems with your medication. First, dont take medicine that is not prescribed for you. Also, remember that it is not safe to drink alcohol when you take medicine for sleeping, pain, anxiety or depression.

As people age, medications and dosages may need to be adjusted. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about your medications, how they work and potential side effects. Dont be afraid to ask questions. Many medication errors are discovered by patients.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.