Health & Safety

November 29, 2012

Poly-pharmacy: A shared responsibility in medication safety

The Army Suicide Prevention Task Force has identified poly-pharmacy as an important contributing factor to suicide, fatal accidents, and adverse outcomes among Army personnel. Poly-pharmacy is a term used to describe a patient who is being treated for multiple conditions with a variety of medications prescribed by several healthcare providers. When a patient receives four or more medications that include one or more psychotropic medications and/or central nervous system depressants, within a 30-day period they meet the definition of poly-pharmacy.

Psychotropic medications are drugs that may affect the mind, emotions, thoughts, concentration, perception, consciousness and behavior. They are used to treat a variety of medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

Central Nervous System depressants are medications that may be used for the management of pain and seizures. Some major side effects associated with Central Nervous System depressants are decreased heart rate, decreased respiratory rate, and decreased consciousness. In extreme cases, Central Nervous System depressants can lead to coma and death.

Taking a combination of these medications can increase the risks for adverse events. It is absolutely vital that Soldiers actively participate in their medical care. Without their participation, health care providers cannot be successful in their efforts to provide a medically safe environment. It is important that patients do the following:

Provide information on any over-the-counter medications, herbal medications, supplements, recreational drugs, or prescription drugs filled at retail or mail-order pharmacies to their providers.

• Comply with the therapy prescribed. Do not take more medication than prescribed, which could lead to an overdose; or take less medication than prescribed which could lead to ineffective therapy.

• Do not share medication with others or take someone else’s medication. Each medication therapy is specific to the patient’s medical condition.

• Always destroy or dispose of medications you are no longer taking.

When Soldiers provide an accurate list of their medications, healthcare providers are able to get a true picture of their potential risk for poly-pharmacy and develop strategies to mitigate harm.

There are almost always noticeable physical symptoms associated with taking this type of medication. You should notify your Provider if you notice any significant worsening of symptoms. The following symptoms are associated with psychotropic medications and Central Nervous System depressants:

• Sleepiness/drowsiness

• Inability to focus or make decisions

• Agitation/aggressiveness

• Emotional instability/ withdrawal

• Sadness/anxiety

Fort Irwin WACH Pharmacy services are available to answer all questions relating to your medication therapy. The pharmacy encourages questions or requests for patient-counseling and can be reached at 380-3130. The pharmacy is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.for walk-ins and patient counseling appointment requests.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Officer_Camara

Texting, speeding, high beams – a reminder for all drivers

California Highway Patrol Officer Ryan Camara California Highway Patrol public information officer Ryan Camara was interviewed by the installation’s Public Affairs Office. His comments are supplemented with related highway sa...
 
 
Leslie Ozawa

Culture of safety

Leslie Ozawa United States Army Forces Command Deputy Commanding General Lt. Gen. Patrick Donahue addresses Soldiers of the 2916th Aviation Battalion during a safety award presentation ceremony here, March 3. United States Army...
 
 

Know your part, do your part, be an active bystander

April is recognized by the Department of Defense as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. The campaign offers a unique opportunity to build on the existing momentum within our community to eliminate this crime and ensure all serving in the Army and affiliated with the Army are treated with dignity and respect. The DoD theme...
 

 
DenimDay

Why Denim Day?

On April 8 at 9 a.m., residents of Fort Irwin will walk through the community in support of the Third Annual Fort Irwin Denim Day. Many have asked about the meaning behind Denim Day. The history of Denim Day begins with a story...
 
 
Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office

Focused on eliminating sexual assault

The Department of the Army selected Fort Irwin’s deputy manager of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Program here as the recipient of a prestigious honor. Captain Nicole Myers was named the 2015 DA Sexual Assault Respons...
 
 

Five things that prevent a good night’s sleep

Tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep is a familiar feeling for many. Get on the path to sleeping well by identifying the following five things that prevent good sleep and mitigating those factors. An uncomfortable or noisy environment: An area of the brain called the thalamus, blocks the flow of information from our senses...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin