This blog post originally appeared on Zaggocare.org Medications save lives and make life more bearable for millions of people. No doubt about it. But medications can also cause harm. Logically, the more medications a patient takes, the higher the risk of side effects and dangerous interactions between medications. Did you know many patients take inappropriate or unnecessary medications? Unfortunately, over-prescribing is a widespread, dangerous problem in the US, especially for older patients (categorized as those 65+ years old). Why do doctors prescribe too many medications? What harm does it cause? And what can patients do? An extensive report by the Lown Institute examines the impact of over-prescribing in older patients. Their report states that the US “is in the grips of an unseen epidemic of harm

from the excessive prescribing of medications.” This important, often overlooked issue may impact your health, or the health of a loved one.   What are the dangers associated with medications? Although medications are designed to help patients, they can also cause health issues. All medications have side effects. Some are potentially serious, while others are minor. But it’s important to understand that all medications carry some degree of risk. There are two major issues of concern – side effects and adverse drug reactions. Adverse drug reactions (ADR) involve an unexpected or dangerous reaction to a medication. You can develop an ADR after one dose of medication, from prolonged use of a drug, or from a negative interaction between 2 or more medications. The more…