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Health Information Initiative to Help Older Adults Avoid Drug Interactions

Rush encourages seniors to brown bag it

Millions of older adults take more than five prescription drugs daily. Add that to the numerous over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, health supplements and herbal remedies and it's easy to see why older adults are especially likely to have adverse drug reactions.

According to Anthony Perry, MD, a geriatric specialist at Rush, up to 30 percent of hospital admissions among the elderly are attributed to dangerous drug interactions. The good news is, this problem can often be prevented with proper monitoring and supervision.

To help older adults successfully manage their medications, Rush Generations, a free program for health and aging at Rush, has introduced a new initiative to the Chicago area. Rush is handing out thousands of brown bags to older adults throughout the city with instructions to fill the bags with all of their prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, health supplements and herbal remedies.

Seniors are encouraged to take the bag and its contents to their doctor or pharmacist for a prescription review and to bring the bag every time they visit the doctor, pharmacy, hospital or emergency room.

“We believe the brown bag program will reduce adverse drug interactions by improving communication between patients and physicians,” says Perry. “It's about using your medications thoughtfully and wisely. Understand what you are taking and why.”

To receive your own brown bag or to make an appointment for a personal medication review, call Rush Generations at (800) 757-0202.

For more information on Rush’s free health and aging membership program for older adults and people who care for them, visit the Rush Generations home page.

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Discover Rush, 2006 - Spring
Initiative to Help Older Adults Avoid Drug Interactions

   
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