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U-M Report -How To Avoid Drug Interactions

National Poll on Healthy Aging
December 2017 Report: Drug Interactions - How to Avoid Them

ANN ARBOR, MI – Most older Americans take multiple medicines every day. But a new poll suggests they don’t get – or seek – enough help to make sure those medicines actually mix safely.

That lack of communication could be putting older adults at risk of health problems from interactions between their drugs, and between their prescription drugs and other substances such as over-the-counter medicines, supplements, food and alcohol.

The new results, from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, show that only about one in three older Americans who take at least one prescription drug have talked to anyone about possible drug interactions in the past two years.

Even among those taking six or more different medicines, only 44 percent had talked to someone about possible drug interactions.

The results come from a nationally representative sample of 1,690 Americans between the ages of 50 and 80. The poll was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.

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