Danger Of Drug Interactions

Monday, February 28th 2011, 2:52 pm
By: News 9

Kirsten McIntyre, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thousands of older Oklahomans must take a handful of different medicines every day to treat their ailments. If they're not careful, drugs designed to help their bodies can actually hurt them.

Linda Cody has learned to carefully document the medications she takes every day to avoid a dangerous mix of usually harmless drugs.

"I learned that, like, the calcium you don't want to take that near your thyroid because they cancel each other out. So you separate that," Cody said.

Integris Hospital pharmacist Susan Conway has helped a lot of patients, many who go to multiple doctors to get their medications.

"Sometimes there's not one sole health provider that knows everything the patient is taking, especially when you add on the over-the-counter medicines and herbals patients choose to purchase and take on their own," she said.

Dr. Charlyce Davis specialized in internal medicine. She said seniors should always take a list of their medications to every doctor's appointment.

"Drug interaction can be deadly, can land you in the hospital, can be mild and not cause any problems, or can block the action of another medication."

Cody said learning about her medication has become part of the process of learning how to take care of herself.

"Now that I'm retired, I'm having a ball because I'm learning so much how to properly take care of yourself, how to prevent things so that you don't have problems as you age; as you age gracefully," Cody said.

More: Avoid dangerous drug interactions.