Drug to Drug Interactions Prevention
Among the chronic patients with conditions other than cancer, many are affected by polypharmacy – the prescription of multiple types of drugs that can potentially interact with one another and cause adverse effects on the health of the patients or interfere with each other’s medical benefits. As a result, the CDC has issued a set of guidelines that are specifically designed to address the problem of polypharmacy and protect the patients from its negative outcomes.
Discussing this issue, it is important to mention that medication management requires the collaborative effort of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, nurses, and pharmacists, as well as patients and their families or caregivers. In particular, the guidelines provided by the CDC can be used as the basis for the creation of databases and systems helping to monitor the medications prescribed to each patient that would notify medical personnel about the drugs that can interact with one another causing harm to patients.
However, when it comes to the patients affected by conditions that are commonly associated with polypharmacy, it is important to remember that they can be inclined to self-medication or errors during medication management that would result in drug to drug interactions. Clinically significant drug interactions are found in many cases of older adult treatments, and their rate keeps increasing among chronic non-cancer patients (Tannenbaum & Sheehan, 2014).
As a result, while specialized drug management software is unavailable in most facilities, awareness-raising education is one of the primary measures that can be taken to address the problem (Tannenbaum & Sheehan, 2014). Specifically, patients need to be taught to report every medication they take, consult their doctors about self-medication strategies, and receive basic knowledge about the medications that can interact with other drugs as soon as they are prescribed with one.
Food-Drug Interactions Education
Food-drug interaction is a common phenomenon that in many cases remains overlooked or underreported due to such factors as the lack of patients’ awareness of the problem, the absence of follow up, or the missing patient history evidence (Jyoti, Jayanthi, Tubaki, & Renuka, 2012). The causes of food-drug interaction can be various. It may appear due to the intake of herbal medicines alongside the prescription drugs, the presence of supplements in the patients’ diets, and due to the interaction between various food products and the components of prescription drugs.
In order for the patients to avoid food-drug interactions, they need to be educated about the types of food incompatible with the drugs on their prescriptions and provided with detailed lists of food products that need to be avoided during the course of each particular medication that can react. In addition, in the cases of some drugs, the efficiency of the medication effect may depend on the intake of food (Jyoti et al., 2012).
In particular, some drugs need to be taken with or without food due to their absorption mechanisms. As a result, it is necessary for the patients and their caregivers to consult doctors or nurses about the management of various kinds of medication and the best time when they should be taken (Jyoti et al., 2012). Moreover, apart from providing information on the food-drug interactions, medical practitioners are to assess the patients’ adherence to this advice and inquire about the food-drug interaction signs during follow-ups.
Also, as an educational measure, it could be helpful to survey the patients about their food-drug specificity and check how well they use the knowledge they were offered in order to make sure that the information is remembered and taken into consideration during medication management.
Jyoti, M. B., Jayanthi, M. K., Basavaraj, R. T., & Renuka, M. (2012). Knowledge and awareness of food and drug interactions (FDI): A survey among health care professionals. International Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Sciences, 1(4), 97-105.
Tannenbaum, C., & Sheehan, N. (2014). Understanding and preventing drug–drug and drug–gene interactions. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, 7(4), 533–544.