Managing Your Medications

Why is managing your medications important to liver health?

Medicines can help you get better and keep you feeling well, but can be hard to manage and, if misused, potentially dangerous. Making sure you take your prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, as well as vitamins, supplements, and alternative therapies properly is important for the health of your liver and for your overall health.

Who is at risk for medication-related problems?

More people than ever before are taking medications to control chronic (long-lasting) medical conditions. The number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs continues to grow, and the number of conditions that can be treated with drugs is on the rise, too. Unfortunately, the potential for drug-related problems is also increasing. Drug-related problems include: adverse side effects, duplication (taking two or more drugs with the same effects), and interactions with other medications.

Prescription and OTC medications, supplements, vitamins, and alternative therapies all have potential interactions. It is important to manage your medications to prevent these negative drug interactions. 

People who take a number of different medications, often for multiple conditions, are at risk for possible dangerous drug interactions and overdose. Older adults and children are also at risk because their bodies process medication differently. Both can be more sensitive to dosage amounts and side effects of medications than young and middle-aged adults. Before administering medications to children or older adults, ask your doctor for specific instructions.

Risk group: Older adults

With age, the percent of water and muscle in your body usually decreases and the percent of fat increases. As a person ages, the function of the kidneys, liver, and other organ systems in the body slows down. Compared with younger adults, people over 65 may have a reduced capacity to break down and remove medicines from their bodies. As their function slow, undesirable drug reactions increase.

A recent study found that more than 20% of seniors in the US use a medication that is probably not appropriate for them. (Curtis, 2004)

Risk group: Children

Infants and children respond to medication differently than adults. Accordingly, children may be given lower dosages of some medications and higher dosages of others. Make sure your child is taking the correct dosage for his or her weight. The number and types of medicines required may change as the child grows or as his or her medical condition changes.

Last updated on August 21st, 2023 at 02:45 pm

cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram