How the FDA wants older adults to safely use their medication

How the FDA wants older adults to safely use their medication

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revised key safety tips to avoid health-threatening mistakes while using a prescription medication.

The federal agency believes proper use of prescriptions in older adults is a special concern because the older people become, the more likely they are to require medical supplements. This can lead to harmful or life-threatening effects including accidental interactions between medications.

The FDA also pointed out that aging alone can affect how medicines are absorbed by the body, which can also lead to possible health problems. For example, diminished kidney and liver functions can affect how a substance is absorbed and how it leaves the body.

Their key tips include several approaches that can increase the likelihood of safe usage.

Take medicine strictly as prescribed

This can be reinforced through advice from a personal health care physician and by making sure their instructions are followed. Avoid taking medications that have not been authorized and don’t avoid or miss scheduled medications without notifying a physician even if symptoms lessen or if there is a suspicion that the medication is no longer working. Side effects should also be immediately addressed by a physician.

Organize a list of personal medications

The FDA highly recommends writing a list of all medications and always keeping the list on hand. The list should always be updated to include all adjustments made by a doctor. They also suggest that a copy is provided to a trusted loved one or friend, which is important during immediate emergencies and traveling. The list should include brand names and generic names, as well as the purpose, dosage and rate of usage of each of medication.

Awareness of side effects and possible drug interactions

Harmful interactions between medications can develop when… (continue reading)