Guest post by Elizabeth Carrollton (*)
If you’re having trouble managing medications, you’re not alone. Nearly 60 percent of seniors forget to take one or more of their daily medications. With more than half of today’s seniors taking five or more prescription medications on a daily basis, and a quarter taking 10 to 19, it’s no surprise that many have a hard time keeping track of them all. If you’ve just had hip replacement, you’ve got more pills to manage than usual. The last thing you need right after surgery is a medication problem, so taking some steps to ensure that your medications are managed efficiently is wise.
Medication Mistakes Can Have Serious Consequences
About 30 percent of hospital admissions in people over the age of 65 are caused by missed doses of medications or accidental overdoses. Common symptoms of medication mismanagement include dizziness, nausea, confusion, memory issues, sleep disturbances, poor balance and falling, incontinence and hallucinations.
Tips for Better Medication Management
When pills are taken routinely, it can be easy to miss dose or forget that you’ve already taken one and accidentally double-up, no matter what your age. One of the best ways to avoid inadvertent misuse of medications is a medication log. Keep a notebook with your medications, and record each dose when it is taken. Another way to keep medications organized are medication boxes that allow you to set up doses for the week, with each little compartment marked with the day and time each dose should be taken.
Interactions are common in people taking several medications. Taking a current list of medications with you to medical appointments can help guard against this problem. Be sure to include dosages of each medication and all non-prescription medications and supplements used. Always use the same pharmacy, and go over your medication list with your pharmacist periodically to double-check for potentially dangerous drug combinations.
Managing Pain Medications after Hip Replacement
Managing your pain medications efficiently after hip replacement is important. Over-reliance on pain medications and the antidepressants often prescribed with them after surgery is common, and can make recovery a longer and more difficult process. Overuse can inhibit healing, interfere with mobility and even increase the pain these drugs are meant to treat by making the nervous system hypersensitive to pain.
Additionally, overuse of pain medications can mask symptoms of complications. After surgery, your pain level should steadily decrease. If yours isn’t, call your doctor. Complications can happen and have been more common over the last few years due to faulty hip implants, several of which have been recalled for high rates of failure and complications.
Metallosis is one of the most serious problems seen with these implants, which happens as metallic implant debris builds up in soft tissues. It can cause severe hip pain and swelling, as well as tissue and bone death that can lead to implant loosening or failure. Thousands have been affected by these recalled devices and have had painful and costly revision surgeries to repair the damage. Hundreds of hip replacement lawsuits have been filed by injured patients in response to the health problems and expenses caused by faulty hip implants.
(*)Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.