Older people frequently take more medications than the young and are also more vulnerable to side effects. At Golden Oak Medicine in Asheville, North Carolina, Kate Marshall, MD, Golnosh Sharafsaleh, MD, MS, AGSF, FAAFP, and their team, offer comprehensive medication management services to ensure you’re taking exactly the right medicines. To find out more about the benefits of medication management, call Golden Oak Medicine or book an appointment online today.
Medication management is a service the Golden Oak Medicine team offers to ensure patients take the right medicines.
Medications play a vital role in supporting older people with problems like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, mental health disorders, high cholesterol, and numerous other conditions.
Many people also take over-the-counter medicines and dietary or herbal supplements. These products potentially have negative effects as well as positive ones and often interact with one another.
Medication management at Golden Oak Medicine helps to ensure that you’re only taking the drugs you need, that they’re not causing side effects, and the combination of medicines you take is safe.
Medication management is beneficial for anyone who takes medicines, but there are several reasons why it’s particularly relevant in older people, including:
As you get older, your total body fat rises while plasma (the liquid element of your blood) decreases. That means there’s less water in your body, which increases the risk of dehydration. As a result, you might have a higher concentration of some drugs in your body, which raises your risk of side effects.
Other changes occur when you age that affect how your body breaks down drugs and eliminates them. That is one of the main reasons that polypharmacy causes side effects and adverse drug interactions in older people.
It’s not unusual for older people to be taking as many as 30 different drugs every day, which is a significant medication burden. When you visit Golden Oak Medicine for a medication management review, your provider looks at all the medications you’re on and the reasons why you take them.
That includes all your prescription medicines and any supplements, herbal remedies, or over-the-counter medicines you use. It’s important to include vitamins and herbal products as they can cause side effects and unsafe interactions in the same way as prescription medicines do.
Your provider checks to see whether you still need each of the medications you take, whether the potential harm outweighs the benefits, and whether there are alternative treatments that could replace medication.
If a medicine isn’t helping you or could be harming you, your Golden Oak Medicine provider can deprescribe it (take you off the medication). In other cases, they may alter your prescription, so you’re on the optimal dosage or change you to a newer, more effective drug.
If you’re over 55 and take a number of different drugs, contact Golden Oak Medicine to arrange a medication management review. Call the office or book an appointment online today.