What if the medicine you take to make you healthy make you sick? It happens every year to thousands of adults.
The number of adults age 45 and older who were admitted to the hospital for a medication or drug-related problem doubled between 1997 and 2008. That’s from an October report released by the federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
These medication conditions included things like serious side-effects, negative drug interactions and overdoses. Specifically the government found that admissions for all medications and drug-related conditions jumped 117 percent from 30,100 in 1997 to 65,400 in 2008 for people between 45 and 64 years old. Among older Americans — those between 65 and 84 — the rate of admissions grew 96 percent during the same time period.
“This report reveals a disturbing trend, and we need to find out more about why these admissions are increasing,” said AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy in a news release.
In a column published last week Clancy suggested the following:
- Bring a list of all your medicines when you go to the doctor.
- Ask questions.
- Make sure what you get from the pharmacy is what the doctor ordered.
- Follow the directions for taking each medication
- Know the possible side-effects.