Do You Have Too Many Prescriptions?
The rise of chronic disease has brought about the demand for treatment and medication. Today, over 130 million American adults use prescription medication for symptom relief or healing of certain conditions. A subset of these adults uses 5 or more prescriptions daily, called polypharmacy. For many, polypharmacy can be challenging and potentially harmful. Most polypharmacy patients are seniors or youth facing several chronic conditions. Different doctors prescribe the medication, sometimes unaware of the overlap. With compounding, patients can avoid multiple pills while maintaining overall health.
The downside of polypharmacy
Taking multiple prescriptions at once opens the door to several risk factors. For starters, patients need to remember the correct timing and dosage for each drug. The stress and effort of taking multiple medications can cause non-adherence, wasted medicine, and rising medical costs. Polypharmacy is often a result of different doctors managing various conditions. This leads to poor medical records, missed refills, and unnecessary prescriptions. Over time, patients can feel overwhelmed and depressed, leading to poor quality of life.
Can polypharmacy be harmful to health?
There are also medical consequences polypharmacy patients must consider. Multiple medications can lead to dangerous drug interactions, causing unwanted side effects. Some patients also risk kidney and liver damage since these organs help process medicine. In addition, polypharmacy leads to more severe symptoms, hospitalization, and shorter lifespans. Patients with 5 or more prescriptions should have medication reviews with pharmacists or doctors. The process ensures records are updated and the patient takes the most efficient, effective medicines.
Have you considered compounding?
Reviewing all medicines can help, but this is sometimes not enough. Patients need a way to receive treatment while avoiding polypharmacy’s downsides safely. Compounding is one of the best methods to help patients prevent multiple pills. This process allows a compound pharmacist to create a customized formulation for a patient’s specific needs. The pharmacist can take different ingredients or drugs and produce an easy-to-use form. Compounding has been around for decades and is regaining ground as a useful option for patients who struggle with prescriptions.
Compounding brings the immediate benefit of consolidating multiple prescriptions into a single pill, liquid, or other forms. A single dose increases medicine adherence, and patients can take treatment safely. The compounding pharmacist can also find the best possible alternatives serving multiple functions. Each medicine also contains additives and preservatives that can cause allergic reactions. Compounding focuses on active ingredients, removing unnecessary fillers in mass-produced treatment. This extra step reduces the overall effort and cost of getting medicine.
Fewer medications, better health
Patients with polypharmacy should discuss with a doctor or pharmacist the possibility of compounding. The team will perform a medicine review and decide if compounding can help. A pharmacist will then create the drug in the best possible form. Polypharmacy has several unwanted side effects and consequences. Reducing the load to 1 or 2 prescriptions can help patients stay healthier for longer.