Oklahoma Seniors Learn Dangers Of Drug Interaction

Monday, February 28th 2011, 4:55 pm
By: News On 6

Kirsten McIntyre, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A lot of Oklahomans take several medications every day to treat a variety of ailments. But the combination of drugs may be dangerous.

The key to protecting yourself is knowing what medications you're taking and keeping all of your doctors informed. You may also consider taking the time to sit down with a medical professional.

Linda Cody has come prepared. She's made a list of the medications, herbs and vitamins she takes on a daily basis.

"You always want to take care of yourself and as you get older you need to take care of yourself," she said.

Which is why Linda is very careful about avoiding drug interaction. That happens when medications are taken together, but shouldn't be. It can also occur between drugs and food.

"I learned that like the calcium you don't want to take that near your thyroid because they cancel each other out," she said. "So you separate that."

"A lot of patients will go to multiple physicians to get their medications and so sometimes there's not one sold health provider that knows everything the patient is taking, especially when you add on the over-the-counter medicines and herbals patients choose to purchase and take on their own," Susan Conway, a pharmacist, said.

Dr. Charlyce Davis specializes in internal medicine. She says seniors should always take their medications with them to every doctor's appointment.

"Drug interaction can be deadly," she said. "Can land you in the hospital, can be mild and not cause any problems or can block the action of another medication."

As for Linda, she's learning now what she needs to know, before she makes any mistakes. It's a process she's enjoying.

"Now that I'm retired I'm having a ball because I'm learning so much how to property take care of yourself, how to prevent things so that you don't have problems as you age," she said. "You age gracefully."

Linda went to a free consultation offered by a hospital, but for those on Medicare Part D, you may check about your benefits. There are some plans that will pay for you to meet with a pharmacist to go over all of your medications.

There are also some websites that allow you to check your medications for any interactions. Check out drug interactions at drugs.com or healthline.com.