Today, it is not uncommon that some patients are taking 5-6 prescription medicines along several vitamins, herbal remedies, and over the counter medications. Most pharmacists and health care professionals check if there are interactions among different medications, however physicians don’t always have a clear picture of what other medications are being taken. Also, as most of the combinations have not been tested in clinical trials, adverse effects are often unknown and only affect a small subset of the population.
It is almost impossible to identify all the downstream effects of different combinations of therapy. Also, many side effects go unnoticed by patients because the factors seem unrelated to primary disease. For example, they could be slightly fatigued or have eczema. Additionally, if there is a side effect identified, clinicians need to determine which medications should be stopped to address the issue. This session will discuss the growing polypharmacy challenges, and what steps can be taken by GPs/FPs better manage these concerns.