Some people take prescription drugs regularly for chronic conditions, like diabetes, high-blood pressure, and depression. While prescription drugs treat specific medical conditions, they might also cause unpleasant side effects and additional health concerns, especially if you take different prescriptions simultaneously.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that Americans use nearly 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. At any given time, one-third of all adults in the US are taking a prescription drug.
When is the right time to say “enough medication?” You must find out about overmedication and proper drug administration to know if you’re overprescribed medication.
If you’re overprescribed medication, these signs will tell:
- You constantly visit multiple doctors
Often patients think that all the doctors they visit are in direct and constant communication with each other when it’s not quite the case. For instance, if you develop a problem with your stomach and are referred to a gastroenterologist, the GI specialist might carry out different tests and administer other medications to treat your stomach issues.
If the patient subsequently develops thyroid issues, he will then be referred to an endocrinologist, who will also be obligated to run a series of tests and might prescribe medications to treat the thyroid. This can subsequently lead to overprescription.
- You suddenly developed new health issues
One vital sign that someone might be taking too many medications is the sudden development of new symptoms that they might not have experienced in the past.
Consuming a lot of different medications comes with the risk of dangerous interactions. When drugs interact, the result could be a host of various symptoms like cognitive changes, weakness, heart palpitations, gastrointestinal upset, and even skin problems. The symptoms vary greatly based on the specific drug interactions.
If you take too much medication, one question you should always ask before taking another prescription medication is what symptoms their interaction will lead to.
- You’re no longer in control of medications
If you take several drugs simultaneously, you might struggle to keep up with the scheduled dosing of each one – not all medications come with once-a-day dosing. If it gets incredibly challenging to keep up with the frequency and timing of all your medications, it might indicate that you are on one too many medications.
If you are concerned about overprescribed medication, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to review your current list and what medications are necessary. It is also essential that patients let their doctor know about all kinds of drugs they take—whether herbal, over-the-counter, or prescribed—as side effects and drug interactions are possible.
Additionally, try to come up with a system for all your medications. For example, invest in a pillbox and a weekly medicine chart you could use as a checklist. Write down all the medicines you need to take when you should take them, and how. You will be able to find instructions on all your medication on when to take them, dosage, etc.
You must go through this information as each medication comes with specific instructions. For example, certain medicines can lead to problems if they are taken together. So, with a chart, you can help space out when you take them. It will also help you avoid retaking a medicine. Similarly, some medications should be taken after food, while others work best on an empty stomach.
- You’re are battling issues with your mental health
A common side effect of taking too many prescribed medications is depression, fatigue, and problematic life. Because all the mixing prescriptions will eventually get to you, resulting in a difficult life of constantly feeding on medication. It is also common to become extremely tired and sedated when taking several medications together.
Prevention Better Than Cure
A bad drug interaction or overmedication can cause you to overdose and put you in the hospital for a long time. So, what are the options to deal with overmedication?
Overmedication can be prevented and addressed through effective communication. Ensure you let your doctor and pharmacist know of all the medications you are taking, how much you are taking, and when you are taking them.
Additionally, record any and all side effects, even if they seem insignificant. Request a thorough drug check from your doctor to make sure you are only taking drugs that are necessary and that you are using them correctly.
If you feel that you are overprescribed medication, and wish to get over it, maybe a detox rehab in Massachusetts can help. However, before you do so, ask your doctor these questions: Am I on the correct dosage? Should I take this drug before or after food? Is it possible to reduce the dosage or stop taking this medication? The answers to these questions will help stay away from overmedication.