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Older adults are at greater risk for drug interactions
Because older adults typically take multiple medications for various health conditions, managing their medication routine can be a balancing act.

Many drugs will interact with each other, food, or supplements. Even if the interaction isn’t fatal, it can affect how well the medication will work or the experience of side effects.

Medscape drug interactions checker
We like using the MedScape drug interactions checker. It’s quick, easy to use, and also includes many vitamins and supplements.

It clearly alerts you to drug interactions in your medication list and how dangerous it is — from minor to serious. Popular foods with known interactions. like grapefruit, are also included.

Drug interaction checker

Discuss all medications with doctors
If your older adult sees multiple doctors, make sure each doctor reviews their complete list of medications, vitamins, and supplements.

However, not all doctors are able to do a detailed review that includes timing and foods. Certain medications need to be taken hours apart and some supplements and foods may interact with medications.

That’s why it’s a great idea to do a little homework on your own. By entering everything your older adult takes into this online drug interactions checker, you can see if there are any warnings, timing, or food issues.

Then you’ll have specific questions that will help the doctor optimize your older adult’s medication regimen.

Double-check in the hospital
If your older adult is in the hospital or other health facility, medical staff will probably give them new medications on top of existing ones. Sometimes hospitals get so busy that mistakes happen.

To avoid problems, get a list of new medications and double-check everything using the drug interactions checker. Nobody needs more issues to deal with when you’re already in crisis mode!

Bottom line
We love using Medscape to double-check for drug interactions. But using this website isn’t a substitute for discussing your older adult’s medication list with a doctor.

If you have questions or concerns, always talk with a doctor, nurse, or other qualified medical professional.

Next Step > Check your older adult’s medication list for drug interactions
Photo of Connie Chow, founder of DailyCaring

By Connie Chow, Contributing Writer and Founder of DailyCaring.com
Image: LiveScience

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