Medication and Frailty: What do We Know?
As the number of medications increases, the risk of harmful effects, drug interactions, and hospitalizations increases.
Sometimes medications, including prescriptions, over the counter drugs, and vitamins and supplements, can interact poorly with each other. Unnecessary drug interactions may contribute to confusion, poor nutrient absorption, and/or dizziness, which can cause falls.
Ask your doctor about your medications:
- What changes have been made to your medication routine?
- Why are you taking the medications you are?
- What is the proper way to take medications?
- What are possible side effects?
- How will you know if the medication is working?
- Ensure you follow-up with your doctor about tests and future appointments
Remember to keep your medication record up to date (ISMP Canada).
Here is a helpful video from The Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada on 5 questions to ask your healthcare provider:
Innovations Presented at CFN’s Annual Conference
MedSafer (p. 21)
Canadian Institute for Health Information. Health care in Canada 2011: A focus on seniors and aging. (Ottawa, ON: CIHI, 2011). Retrieved from https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/HCIC_2011_seniors_report_en.pdf
Ramage-Morin, P. L. on behalf of the Health Information and Research Division at Statistics Canada. (17 July 2015). Medication use among senior Canadians: Findings. [Website]. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-003-x/2009001/article/10801/findings-resultats-eng.htm
These are general health guidelines and should not be considered personal medical advice. Speak to your doctor before making any changes to your medications. You should consult your health care provider and discuss each element outlined above to ensure that each element of the AVOID Frailty campaign is personally customized for you.