Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 48


HEALTH BY THE NUMBERS BY MISTI CRANE

MEDICATION MISHAPS
$3.5 BILLION
700,000
emergency department
visits arise from medication
problems each year in the
United States.

2X

Older Americans are twice as
likely to go to the emergency
department because of an
adverse drug event.

is spent on medical costs
related to prescription drug
errors each year.

Sources: U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention;
American Association of Poison
Control Centers

82%

Nearly
272,000
calls were received
by U.S. poison control
centers in 2014 for
medication errors,
usually because
someone inadvertently
took a medicine, or
took it twice.

of American adults
take at least one
medication and
29 percent take
five or more.
Unfortunately,
they're not always
taken safely.

TAKE CARE WHEN TAKING
MULTIPLE PRESCRIPTIONS

48

W IN TER 2016

including over-the-counter products, Hartzell
recommends. If your care provider doesn't
initiate the conversation, make sure you do.
At home, managing medications can be
particularly problematic for those with faltering memory skills and dementia. Family
members and other caregivers can help by
going along to medical appointments and to
the pharmacy, providing an extra set of ears,
Hartzell says.
Pill organizers and timers or online applications that remind people when they're due for
a dose can help, too, he says.
When you do miss a pill or realize you've
taken an extra, it's best to call a pharmacist or
a doctor and ask for advice. It's possible with
some medicines to make up lost doses or to
take a double dose without serious harm, but
not so with others.

DOWNLOAD

Create
Your Own
Medication
Record
AARP offers a downloadable, printable medication
guide to keep track of
what you or a loved one
has been prescribed. Visit
bit.ly/1hzDV5d to create
your own.

ILLUSTRATION BY THINKSTOCK

The same medications we take to tamp down
our high blood pressure, soothe our arthritic
joints and alleviate or prevent all manner of
health problems can themselves do us harm.
And as we age, we take more pills and
opportunities mount for dangerous medication
interactions and overdoses. Medication errors
can be relatively minor, but sometimes they
result in life-threatening problems such as liver
damage or difficulty breathing.
A pharmacist-especially if you see the
same one for all your medications-is often
in the best position to quickly spot potential
adverse interactions of prescriptions written
by two or more doctors, says Vincent Hartzell,
a pharmacist and member of the American
Pharmacists Association.
Make sure that a pharmacist or a primary
care doctor knows everything you're taking,


http://www.bit.ly/1hzDV5d

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 4
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 5
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 6
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 45
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 46
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 47
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 48
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 49
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 50
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 51
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 52
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 54
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 55
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - 56
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover3
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - University of Virginia - Cover4
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