Many older Americans take multiple medications — but only about one-third ever discuss possible interactions between drugs, a new poll finds. The poll was conducted by the university’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. It was sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, the university’s academic medical center.
“Interactions between drugs, and other substances, can put older people at a real risk of everything from low blood sugar to kidney damage and accidents caused by sleepiness,” said Dr. Preeti Malani, who directed the nationwide poll.
FDA.gov recommends before taking a drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist the following questions:
There are also online tools available that can help inform about possible interactions. AARP and WebMD both have drug interaction checkers which allow users to enter their medications to screen for possible interactions.
Alison Bryant is senior vice president of research for AARP. “Even with trackers and systems in place, patients need to be open with their providers and tell them all the medications and supplements they’re taking, including herbal remedies,” she said.