April 20, 2016 – Drug Use


Anchor lead:  Use of prescription medications and over the counter drugs and supplements continues to rise, Elizabeth Tracey reports

More and more Americans are turning to both prescriptions remedies as well as over the counter drugs and supplements in pursuit of health, a recent study finds.  Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Miller: A key finding of this study is that the use of prescription medications is rising, probably not surprising, but at the same time our use of over the counter supplements is also increasing.  That’s important because up to 15% of older adults now have a potentially major drug-drug interaction when you factor in the use of these supplements.  So it’s a safety concern.  :25

Miller says one thing that’s concerning is most people don’t mention supplements to their physician.

Miller: It’s not intentional, it just doesn’t cross the mind of the average patient that that is a substance that they’re putting in their body.   :08

Miller says both doctors and patients need to be vigilant about integrating supplement use into the medication list.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.