When the Visigoths pillaged Rome in 410 A.D., they ravaged the once mighty empire and caused alarm all around the Mediterranean. Today’s pill-aging (too many pills!) is shocking doctors and patients as they discover the harmful effects that can come from being overmedicated.
A recent study from Thomas Jefferson University shows one kind of trouble that modern pill-aging can cause: The scientists found that 43 percent of the study’s participants (all 65 or older and currently receiving cancer treatments) took more than 10 different medications. Around 120 of the participants took ones that might conflict with their chemo regimens. For example, blood thinners such as warfarin may increase bleeding risks associated with some cancer treatments, and ibuprofen also might trigger problems.
Since 60 percent of cancers occur in patients 65 and older (and the number of seniors is booming!), pill-aging is an accident waiting to happen.
But whatever your age, it is important to pay attention to the potential interaction between your meds and with any kind of medical treatment you receive. Always tell EVERY doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements and herbal preparations that you take. Is that too hard to remember? Try downloading a free app such as Rxmind Me Prescription or MediSafe Meds and Pill Reminder. Not only will you have help remembering to take your meds, but you’ll have an easy-to-read list to show your doc. Don’t forget to put OTC meds and supplements in there, too.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit sharecare.com.