Time To Add Another Prescription?

Some patients need another prescription to deal with a chronic condition. Others need medicine to counteract the effects of an existing medication. Whatever the reason, adding a new prescription to an already crowded medicine cabinet can be overwhelming. There is also the chance of polypharmacy when a patient uses at least 5 prescription medications. Before adding the new prescription, a medication review with a pharmacist can help. This simple assessment can provide education on the effectiveness of the medications and any possible side effects.

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Take stock of your prescriptions

Many patients overlook the benefits of taking stock of existing treatments. A medication review is a structured consultation performed by a pharmacist or doctor. The goal is to assess all medications, herbs, and supplements a patient uses. This assessment determines the necessity of each drug, reviews possible side effects, and helps develop a game plan for the patient. About 1 in 2 adults use prescriptions, yet many are unaware of medication reviews. Doctors and pharmacists recommend this consultation once per year for the most benefit. Besides a suitable game plan, medication reviews have other benefits that can help patients with new prescriptions.

Medication review benefits

At the end of a medication review, patients should have clarity on the medicines used as part of treatment. Medicine adherence is one of the biggest challenges for patients with multiple prescriptions. A review looks at all the medicine to find the best options for the patient. This may mean discontinuing drugs or changing medications. Pharmacists identify dangerous interactions, review possible side effects, and may suggest effective alternatives during medicine reviews. Adverse medication reactions send over 400,000 people to the emergency room yearly, which can be avoided with a review. These reviews may also have cost-saving benefits as the patient saves on drugs that are no longer necessary. Compounding, where the pharmacist combines multiple prescriptions into a single form, can also save money.

Preparing for a medication review

Medication reviews are a simple process that can take less than an hour. Plan to bring all prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements. If possible, make a list of all medicines and the intended purpose of each drug. This list will help the pharmacist determine if the patient is being overprescribed. Next, carry a list of questions and concerns. Include difficulties with side effects, cost, and medication adherence. During the visit, answer all questions as best as possible. Make sure to point out any recent visits to the doctor or hospital and changes to prescriptions as a result. All this information is vital for a review that provides the patient with the most benefits.

New prescriptions safely

Multiple prescriptions can help with various symptoms and illnesses. However, if not done correctly, patients can forget to take essential medications or experience unwanted side effects. Adding a new prescription only increases the chances of complications. A medication review allows both patient and pharmacist to closely examine all medications used and take the right course of action.

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