Baby Boomer Generation – Mixing Drugs can be Dangerous
A report recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that deaths from accidental drug interactions rose 68 percent between 1999 and 2004.
Unintentional drug poisonings accounted for nearly 20,000 deaths in 2004, making the problem now the second-leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
Baby Boomers need to remember that many of the products we can buy over-the-counter today were still prescription medications just a few years ago, so don’t underestimate their strength.
Experts advise patients to consult their doctors and pharmacists before adding new medications (prescription or over-the-counter) or herbal remedies to their drug regimens.
The Internet provides a growing repository of information about drug interactions.
Online “drug interaction checkers”, such as the one on Drugs.com allows patients to plug in the names of their medications and produce a report that typically lists their possible interactions with certain foods, alcohol, and other drugs.
But the absence of a Web warning doesn’t mean a drug combination is generally safe for you. Many factors, including a patient’s health and medical history, can affect safety, and the Web sites warn patients to consult their doctors for specific advice about their medications.
Even when online reports warn of the potential for harmful interactions, it’s possible that the medications may still be combined under a doctor’s supervision. Cancer patients, for example, and those with severe injuries may require more than one strong painkiller.
The reason that some potential interactions may not show up on some online reports is that “it’s very hard to know, especially when you don’t know why someone is taking something. There’s always that gray area.”
Pharmacies typically use databases that flag potential drug interactions – but using them properly requires patients to disclose all the medications they’re taking and any drug allergies they have.
“It is very important for Baby Boomers to use the same pharmacy and make sure that they share all of their prescription drugs and their over-the-counter drugs with their pharmacies,
Baby Boomers should be concern about our medications. Nothing replaces a conversation with your doctor or pharmacist with your list of medications in hand. Drugs are treated like commodities in society, and the reality is they all have a risk.
Access Hollywood – Heath Ledger Mixing Drugs