Health in the spotlight | Mixing medications

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It is often necessary to take more than one medication at a time. But sometimes medications cannot be mixed.

If it does, it will cause an interaction that could be serious or even fatal.

Doctors say it’s more common than you might think, leading to a quarter of a million hospitalizations each year in the US

According to the CDC, about 60% of Americans take at least one prescription drug. 36% take at least three.

One thing doctors need to consider when prescribing a new drug is whether it will interact with medications the patient is already taking.

“If care coordination is not done properly, a drug interaction can be missed,” said Dr. Weiner, a professor of medicine at Indiana University of Medicine.

When medications interact in a negative way, it can change the effectiveness of the drug and be dangerous to the patient.

“These drug interactions can have a wide range of effects that can range from mild to fatal,” Weiner said.

He says patients can help by doing three things.

‘Know what medications you’re taking and why you’re taking them, that’s the first. Second, bring the medications with you to your doctor’s visits. And third, ask your healthcare providers if any of these medications will interact with each other,” Weiner said.

Weiner said that if you start a new medication or if your doctor changes the dosage of a medication you’re already taking, keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms.

If it bothers you, report it to your doctor quickly.

This story was created from a script that aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.

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