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Beware of Harmful Drug Combinations

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Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 04:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Many older adults take multiple medications for chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, and dementia. A new study published in PLOS ONE reported that 20 percent of those who take a combination of medicines are actually worsening their illnesses because a drug for one condition can adversely affect another condition, or even cancel out the benefits of another drug.
 
The investigators at Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University studied more than 5,800 people who were taking multiple medications. They found that 23 percent took at least one medicine that could worsen a coexisting condition, and 13 percent had multiple pairs of competing treatments.
 
For example, 16 percent of patients with both hypertension and pulmonary disease were using a medicine to lower blood pressure (beta blocker), which could make breathing more difficult.
 
The advent of electronic medical records may help reduce the frequency of these kinds of drug-drug and drug-disease interactions, but it’s important for patients to be aware of the problem.
 
Patients should bring all of their medications to their doctors to review for harmful combinations.

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Many older adults take multiple medications for chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, and dementia.
drugs, dementia, cholesterol
183
2014-13-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 04:13 PM
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