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What Is Polypharmacy?

In a previous blog, we discussed polypharmacy and how it related to the potential for loss of balance and slip-and-fall accidents. In this blog, we'll discuss the dangers of combining medications and the hazards patients face with this growing trend.

There's nothing intrinsically negative about the term polypharmacy. It simply refers to the fact that an individual is taking multiple medications. Unfortunately, a negative association is created when a patient is taking an unhealthy mixture of various medications. This mixture can lead to symptoms as serious as loss of cognitive function, personality changes or nausea.

While polypharmacy might be the appropriate course of treatment for medical professionals to take - often to combat various conditions at the same time - medication used in conjunction can result in serious, devastating consequences.

  • Polypharmacy is responsible for 28 percent of all hospital admissions.
  • Polypharmacy is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.

The topic is complicated due to a wide range of definitions. Some groups define polypharmacy only in terms of abuse, while others look at the term in a more literal sense - anyone who takes multiple medications. The concept that everyone agrees on, however, is that drug interactions can be dangerous, often leading to worsening conditions or death. To discuss your legal options if you were injured by a dangerous drug interaction, schedule a consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

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