Saturday, May 20, 2017 Last Updated 10 Min 1 Sec ago Malayalam Edition
Todays E paper
Tuesday 09 May 2017 10.15 AM

Top medic highlights the risk of ‘polypharmacy’

Medic highlights, Polypharmacy

A survey reviewed by Dr. Stephanie Higashi, is the chief executive of the integrated healthcare practice Health At Last found that, in the U.S., 22 percent of U.S. citizens used 3+ Rx drugs in a 30 day period and 10 percent used 5+ Rx drugs over a thirty day period, Rx drugs are ‘restricted drugs’ available only by a prescription. The term tends to be used in the U.S. only; here Rx is a contraction of the Latin word "recipe" (an imperative form of "recipere") meaning "take".

One reason why so many prescription only medications are being taken is due to the practice of ‘polypharmacy’. This results from patients who have several ailments receiving treatment from multiple doctors. Where there is no coordination of care, one doctor could be unaware what the other doctor has prescribed. According to Dr. Higashi the risks of this are high, especially among the elderly. The side-effects of taking too many medications include falls, broken bones, dizziness, increased confusion, and frequent accident and emergency department visits are common. One reason for this is due to drug cross-reactions. At best one drug will cancel out another, at worse the combined effect leads to an effect that is harmful for health.

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Tuesday 09 May 2017 10.15 AM
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