Note: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment or professional legal or financial advice. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical, legal, or financial advice, or delay in seeking it.
If you are a family caregiver, it would probably be helpful for you to get to know your local pharmacist on behalf of the person you are caring for. Pharmacists have the knowledge on how medication interact with each other. Pharmacists also know how prescriptions conflict with each other.
Ideally, everyone should get to know their local pharmacist just like how they would get to know their doctor. If the person you are caring for is taking multiple medications, your local pharmacist would be a good resource to consult with to make sure their medications are not going to react negatively with one another. Mixing powerful prescription medications can be dangerous and can result in unexpected side effects, or worse, death.
Mixing medications can become a real concern, both for doctors and patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 90 percent of people over the age of 65 use at least one medication every week. More than 40 percent use five or more medications per week and 10 percent use 12 or more per week. Mixing medications is inevitable when people have multiple health issues.
There are local resources available for help with prescription management in the community.
The Sanford Center for Aging Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Program offers comprehensive medication reviews for Nevadans aged 60 and older who are taking five or more medications and/or supplements. Reviews by their Board-Certified Geriatric Pharmacists for free, with special priority for low-income, rural and minority participants. For more information, call 775-784-1612 or visit https://med.unr.edu/aging/outreach/mtm.
There are also other local pharmacies that offer education and assistance with prescription medications. For a complete list, please visit https://nevadacaregivers.org/categories/medical/compounding-pharmacies/ for more information.
By William Palmer