It’s Time For A Medicine Check-Up

Two out of three American adults take at least one prescription drug. Some are on medication for several years without any real change. Is this safe? Are these medicines still effective? These are questions that both doctors and patients have from time to time. To make sure everyone is on the same page, experts suggest a medication review. Simply put, a medication review checks current medications to come to a consensus. The session makes sure the patient has the proper medications for the right time.

center for family medicine What Is A Medication Review When To Go Over Prescriptions With Your Doctor

Why do we need a medication review?

The medical world is not static. There are constant changes, reviews, additions, and recalls. Patients also change. Medication reviews are beneficial for elderly persons who take significantly more medication than anyone else. For starters, a medication review helps identify harmful medicine combinations. The doctor can also remove outdated medicine and add new ones. The assessment can reveal other helpful information, like if the patient is not taking the medication due to uncomfortable side effects. A medication review is useful for long-term health and wellness.

What happens during your medication review?

During a medication review, the patient will provide a doctor or nurse with detailed medical information. The patient reveals all present illnesses and any supporting prescription drugs. Patients should also include non-prescription medicines, supplements, and homeopathic treatments. Missing one of these could impact the effectiveness of the review. The doctor may ask questions about symptoms, side effects, and efficacy. This is a good time for patients to ask questions about medications too. Reviews should happen once a year. The reviews take about 30 minutes and are covered by insurance.

Are you taking a lot of meds lately?

Anyone with a large medicine cabinet of prescription medications should consider a medication review. Polypharmacy, known as the regular use of at least 5 medications, will require a review periodically. These medications may not interact well with each other or may cause unwanted side effects. Others may be outdated or discontinued. A medication review keeps everything in check and helps to maximize the effectiveness of all medications.

Age brings changes we can’t see

Medication reviews are essential for the elderly. Over time, the body changes, and some medications may not serve the patient anymore. For instance, a patient may be taking blood pressure medication that’s no longer necessary. Others may need medication for hidden illnesses. Age 65 and over is a great time to speak with a doctor about a medication check.

Symptoms and side effects

Has a new symptom or side effect come out of nowhere? Prescription medication may interact poorly with herbs or supplements. Symptoms may be a sign to change the medication or reduce the dosage. The same goes for an existing side effect. If a symptom or side effect is affecting the quality of life, consider a medication review. The doctor can change the medication or recommend a compound pharmacy to create a more manageable drug.

A new diagnosis or injury needs a review

Over time, anyone can develop a new disease. Especially with age, diseases like osteoporosis, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease are common. A medication review is a good time to advise the doctor about any new conditions. The doctor may be able to add or change medication to cope with these new challenges.

Check your medication ASAP

A medication review ensures that a patient is getting the most out of all prescriptions. Reviews allow doctors to change and adjust medications to match the patient’s condition. The assessment also ensures the patient is taking up-to-date drugs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and give as much information as possible. Contact a doctor today to set up an appointment and feel more confident about the medicine cabinet.