Seniors warned about mixing OTC and prescription drugs
A study in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine suggests that screening type 2 diabetes patients for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and treating those who have OSA with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy could improve the management of their hyperglycemia and might favorably influence their long-term prognosis. Results
Full Post: Continuous positive airway pressure improves sleeping glucose levels in type 2 diabetics with obstructive sleep apnea
According to researchers in the United States about 2.2 million seniors put themselves at high risk for drug interactions - they say many non-prescription medication, which are bought over-the-counter (OTC) can produce a harmful drug interactions.
The researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center say more attention is needed for non-prescription medications and dietary supplements as at least one in 25 older adults take multiple drugs in combinations that can be dangerous.
According to the researchers while the number of people taking medications has remained stable for the last decade, the number of drugs taken by older people has significantly increased - they say this may be because of more intense therapy for chronic illness, improved access to medications and the growth of the generic drug market.
Study author Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau, an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and medicine, says more than half of older adults now take five or more medications or supplements and older adults are the largest consumer of prescription drugs.
Dr. Lindau says these prescription medications are often combined with over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements, which can increase their vulnerability to medication side-effects and drug-drug interactions.
Dr. Lindau says though drug safety systems used by physicians, nurses and pharmacists are working and combinations of the most commonly used drugs that are absolutely forbidden, were not found, the risk has probably been underestimated.
The study also found ethnic and gender differences with older Hispanics more likely than other ethnic groups to be taking no medications and older women less likely than older men to take medicines to reduce cholesterol, even though men and women were equally likely to report a history of cardiovascular disease.
The study used data collected for the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, a nationally representative multi-purpose survey of adults aged 57 to 85 carried out between July 2005 and March 2006.
The survey team interviewed 3005 participants in their homes about the medications they used on a regular basis and it was found that 91% of all respondents regularly used at least one medication, and that percentage increased with age, and 29% of older adults regularly took more than five prescription medications.
Of the adults who took prescription drugs 68% also used over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements.
Almost 50% of the drug-drug interactions identified could cause bleeding problems, the most common was Warfarin, a prescription drug designed to prevent blood clots, along with an over-the-counter drug such as aspirin, which also interferes with clotting.
The most common potentially severe medication interactions with prescription drugs included Lisinopril, Warfarin, Atorvastatin, Simvastatin - non-prescription preparations included Ginkgo and aspirin.
Around 2 million Americans are prescribed Warfarin following a heart attack, stroke or major surgery and the team say patients need to know about these risks and they recommend patients carry a list of all of the drugs and supplements they take.
They also say doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals should remember to ask patients about all of the medications they are taking.
The study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Patients who report receiving written and verbal instructions on the proper way to take the blood thinner warfarin are significantly less likely to suffer the serious gastrointestinal and brain bleeding problems that are associated with misuse of the drug, according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The study, published
Full Post: Improved communication about medications reduces complications among patients using common blood thinner
Antibiotics are the single largest class of agents that cause idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI), reports a new study in Gastroenterology, an official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. DILI is the most common cause of death from acute liver failure and accounts for approximately 13 percent of cases of acute liver failure
Full Post: Antibiotics causing most drug-induced liver injury
Just like saving money on groceries or finding the best deal on gas, smart consumers can cut their prescription drug costs with just a little bit of work, say pharmacists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Stefanie Ferreri, Pharm.D., and Jena Ivey, Pharm.D., both practicing pharmacists and clinical assistant professors at the
Full Post: Good advice to cut prescription drug costs
Use of prescription sleep aids nearly tripled among 18- to 24-year-olds between 1998 and 2006, according to a study released today by the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. During the study period, the average length of time sleep aids were used by adults under age 45 increased more than 40 percent — rising from 64
Full Post: Sharp increase in use of prescription sleep aids by young adults
LegitScript, an online pharmacy certification program, announced today that it has succeeded in getting nearly 500 “rogue” Internet pharmacy websites shut down. The sites had been selling prescription drugs or steroids without requiring a prescription, a practice that is illegal and considered unsafe by medical authorities. In most cases, the drugs were sold from outside
Full Post: LegitScript shuts down 500 no-prescription-required online pharmacies