Dangerous Drug Interactions
Millions of Americans need prescription medication to manage pain or chronic conditions. Sometimes, these drugs alone have unwanted side effects. When multiple drugs or substances are taken together, an unwanted reaction can occur. In some cases, these reactions can even be deadly. To make sure that medications are safe, tracking medication use is critical.
What can cause unwanted interactions?
Some patients are required to take multiple medications to manage multiple conditions, particularly in the elderly. The interactions of these medications can impact overall health. For example, one drug may reduce the effectiveness of another while another may trigger a severe reaction. In both cases, a patient’s overall health is at risk. Drug interactions aren’t limited to prescriptions. Certain foods, recreational drugs, alcohol, and even herbs can cause reactions.
Here’s how your pharmacist can help
Being aware of the possible interactions can be difficult, particularly for multiple medicines. A pharmacist is a trusted healthcare provider that can help manage and even track drug interactions. Pharmacists understand drug-to-drug interactions, food interactions, and much more. With that knowledge, the pharmacist can counsel the patient on the interactions of each prescription. There are also other services to help keep track and minimize interactions. These services prevent patients from feeling overwhelmed and improve patient safety.
Transfer your prescriptions to one pharmacy
One of the best ways to minimize interactions is to choose one pharmacy to fill all prescriptions. With multiple pharmacies, patients can lose track of drugs and dosages, which increases the chances of side effects. Consolidating to one pharmacy means the pharmacist has a clear idea of the patient’s medication. Using a smaller community pharmacy also gives added benefits. These benefits include excellent service, accessibility, and firsthand knowledge of the patient’s medical history.
Consider compounding to lower your interaction risk
Drug interactions between prescriptions are sometimes down to dosage or unnecessary ingredients in the drug. Compounding medications can significantly reduce interaction risks. A compound pharmacy mixes medications or components for the specific needs of patients. A personal formula removes unwanted elements while using the exact dosage necessary for the patient’s health.
Perform regular medication reviews
Moving all medication to a smaller, community pharmacy gives both patient and pharmacy greater control. To ensure there are no interactions, the pharmacist may request a medication review. The patient brings in all medications and supplements for the pharmacist to check. The assessment can remove drugs that are no longer necessary, expired, or discontinued. This simple change can help keep track of unwanted interactions. The pharmacist can also suggest another medicine to reduce the chances of interactions.
Managing drug interactions is possible
Unwanted side effects can come out of the blue, and some can be dangerous. For example, even a healthy food or drink could cause uncomfortable side effects. Tracking the drugs and potential side effects can help patients and pharmacists find solutions to this issue. By filling all prescriptions in the same pharmacy, pharmacists can find and reduce drug interactions. Over time, pharmacists can perform medication reviews and compounding as needed.