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.


 
 

 
Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office

Thank You Vietnam Veterans

Photo by Gustavo Bahena, Public Affairs Office Alexander Primero, pictured with wife Delia, served two tours with the U.S. Army in Vietnam during 1968 to 1971. They both attended the 50th Vietnam Veterans Commemoration ceremony...
 
 
candles

Choosing to act, intervene for fellow humans

At the ceremony, a lighting of seven candles remembered the victims of the Holocaust. The Fort Irwin community honored the annual Days of Remembrance observance with a ceremony here, April 8. The national commemoration period t...
 
 
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...
 

 
Photo by Casey Slusser, TASC

Soldiers, community in Denim Day Walk support victims

Photo by Guy Volb, Public Affairs Office National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, his spouse Lean Martin, and NTC staff led the procession through several streets on Fort Irwin. Leadership, So...
 
 

News Briefs May 2015

May 3-9 is Public Service Recognition Week By The Partnership for Public Service Celebrated the first full week in May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week is a time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. Our theme for PSRW 2015 is...
 
 
JesusAguilar

Bringing smiles to people’s faces

Jesus Aguilar (right), Burger King employee, serves a customer his breakfast. BEST Opportunities job coach Angelika Felix was coaching Aguilar on his second day of work after an accident resulted in the amputation of his right ...
 




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