From medication for mental health to cholesterol to birth control and so on, it is easy for the prescriptions to pile up.
Which can get you thinking, “Am I taking too many medications?”
We all know taking too many medications at once can negatively impact your health, especially if the medications you’re on are not supposed to be taken together. So let’s discover what is too much and what steps to take if you need to scale back a bit.
Too many medications could put you in worse health.
The active ingredients in different drugs can negatively interact with one another. If this happens, it can impact health and have dangerous consequences. Don’t forget; this can include the ingredients in your vitamins and herbal supplements as well.
For example, antacids can make it difficult to absorb other medications properly. Some heart medications can cause excessive bleeding, and some antibiotics can temporarily cause birth control not to work as strongly.
It is crucial to talk to your doctor and pharmacist about all of the medications and vitamins you take to ensure no adverse reactions or negative effects.
Here are some tips to safely manage your medications
Vitamins and other medications can be essential to our well-being, but it is vital to make sure we consume them in a safe and healthy manner. Here are some tips on how to best manage this part of your day-to-day life:
1. Track Your Meds
Keep a list of all the medications and vitamins you take, and make sure it is updated at all times. It is essential to track the days and times you are taking each dose of each medication as well. A digital log in your phone’s Notes app can work just fine. If pen and paper is more of your style, just make sure the list is kept in a safe place and avoid misplacing it.
2. Stick to One Pharmacy
Try to fill all prescriptions from one pharmacy so they can quickly double-check for drug interactions. Each pharmacy list will only show what their pharmacy has dispensed to you and won’t include everything you take, making it easier for adverse reactions to occur. If you use a single pharmacy, they can better track your medications and alert you if there is a potential for harmful reactions.
3. Don’t Start a New Drug Alone
While rare, it is possible to have a severe allergic reaction to a new medication or an adverse reaction between one or more that you’re taking. In this case, you’ll need immediate help, so it’s helpful to have a loved one or friend nearby in case you need them. Also, never take a prescription drug that was prescribed to someone else.
4. Know the Side Effects
If you have a new symptom after taking a new drug, don’t assume it’s a “new condition” or “old age”. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away so they can help you understand if it is an adverse reaction or normal (and harmless) symptom that will subside as your body adjusts to the medication.
5. Avoid the ‘Prescription Cascade’
Sometimes new drugs might be prescribed to deal with symptoms caused by a drug you are already taking. This is called the “prescription cascade.” Ask your doctor or pharmacist to consider whether new symptoms could be the result of any medication you’re currently taking. They can help determine if you should stop taking a specific drug or decrease the dose. This is called ‘deprescribing‘.
Curious if you’re taking too many meds? Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what medication is right for you and your unique body & condition.
GeniusRx is here to help you on your wellness journey.
If you need to pair down your medications and decide what is best for your body, our team of dedicated clinical professionals can help. We can also help you get up to 80% off your prescription prices.