Home Random Page



Misuse of Medications and Risks

When prescribed and taken appropriately, drugs have many benefits: They treat diseases and infections, help manage symptoms of chronic conditions, and can contribute to an improved quality of life. But medicines can also cause problems.

High blood pressure, for example, is often treated with several different drugs. Many older people have multiple cardiovascular risk factors--high blood pressure, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol--and will often need multiple drugs to treat them. Unless supervised by a doctor, however, taking a mixture of drugs can be dangerous. For example, a person who takes a blood-thinning medication should not take it with aspirin, which will thin the blood even more. And antacids can interfere with absorption of certain drugs for Parkinson's disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Before prescribing any new drug to an older patient, a doctor should be aware of all the other drugs the patient may be taking.

Another example are heparin and warfarin. These are medications whose use or misuse carry ignificant potential for injury.

Subtherapeutic levels can lead to thromboembolic complications in patients with atrial fibrillation or deep venous thrombosis, while supratherapeutic levels can lead to bleeding complications.

These medications are commonly involved in adverse drug events for a variety of reasons, including the complexity of dosing and monitoring, patient compliance, numerous drug interactions, and dietary interactions that can affect drug levels. Strategies to improve both the dosing and monitoring of these high-risk drugs have potential to reduce the associated risks of bleeding or thromboembolic events.


Factors Affecting Medication Response




Ethnic background

Physical health

Psychological status

Environmental temperature

Amount of food in stomach

Dosage form

Date: 2014-12-29; view: 874

<== previous page | next page ==>
Safety Alerts! | Rules of distribution of medicine
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2023 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.008 sec.)