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Beware of Dangerous Drug Combos

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 08:36 AM

When Rosemary Butler belted out the chorus on Jackson Browne's version of "Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer)" almost four decades ago, a lot of 50- to 60-year-olds apparently decided to take that advice. There are now over 53,000 centenarians in the U.S. - a 66 percent increase in 30 years!

Advances in chronic disease treatment and prevention are extending your lifespan, and increasing the number of medications you take: 75 percent of you, 65 or older, take drugs for at least two chronic disorders; almost a third of you take five or more medications; you also take 35 percent of all over-the-counter drugs.

No wonder drug interactions are an increasing problem.

A recent study found that combining prescription meds for high blood pressure (HBP) and osteoarthritis is the most common cause of a risky drug interaction. If you add a cox-2 inhibitor for pain on top of a beta blocker for HBP, the cox-2 inhibitor blocks the beta blocker; your blood pressure stays too high. Other combos of prescription and/or OTC meds cause just as much trouble.

To minimize drug interactions:

1. Write down each prescription, non-prescription med and supplement you take.

2. Schedule time with your pharmacist to review your list, checking for drug interactions; take notes.

3. Take your list and notes to your primary care physician. Create a wellness plan that includes stress management, walking and avoiding the Five Food Felons. This will reduce your need for chronic-disease meds. Medicare and most insurance companies cover this visit annually without any copay.

© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

© King Features Syndicate

   
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When Rosemary Butler belted out the chorus on Jackson Browne's version of Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer) almost four decades ago, a lot of 50- to 60-year-olds apparently decided to take that advice. There are now over 53,000 centenarians in the U.S. - a 66 percent...
dr oz, drug, interactions
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2014-36-24
Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 08:36 AM
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