The term polypharmacy pertains to the use of multiple medications to treat one’s illness. Most of the time, this multiple medication offer much more than what a person actually needs to get better.
This is why there is a growing concern among doctors and pharmacists on the habit of people taking too many medications which could also lead to health risks. Yes, medicines could help prevent and cure diseases — but as they always say, anything in excess could be harmful.
American Pharmacists Association spokesperson Sophia De Monte explains the phenomenon of polypharmacy. “As you keep increasing the amount of prescriptions, it increases the chance of having a drug interaction or major side effect. It’s exponential. The more you add on, the more chances you’ll have something bad happen.”
This is why doctors and pharmacists are working together to safeguard their patient’s health. Prescriptions given by doctors are kept at a minimum, and pharmacists review these prescriptions when patients purchase from them.
“The whole goal is to try to fine-tune it,” De Monte said, “working with the patient to get the best medication with the best effects at the minimal amount.”
Some important steps have been shared by professionals to ensure that taking multiple medications will lead to cure, and not to more medical problems.
a. Patients should read information with regards to their medication to be wary of the possible complications that could arise from taking the said medicines.
b. It’s best to take medications with water rather than any other beverage to prevent further interaction.
c. Never disregard any discomfort that you might experience after taking new medication. Consult your health care provider immediately.
d. Have your doctor or pharmacists review your prescriptions.
The most important factor to consider in polypharmacy is the patient’s present condition and how the medications make the patient feel.