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.


 
 

 
Gustavo Bahena

Flying Tigers activated

Gustavo Bahena The 2916th Aviation Battalion commander, Lt. Col. William Garber (right), hands a guidon to Capt. Jesse DeJaynes during a unit activation ceremony here, Oct. 16. DeJaynes leads the newly activated unit – B ...
 
 

Celebrating pride, spirit

From the Aleutian Islands to the Florida everglades, American Indians and Alaska Natives have contributed immensely to our country’s heritage. They have enhanced our nation through contributions in the fields of art, science, education, business and our military. Native Americans have bravely served and participated with distinction in U.S. military actions for more than 200...
 
 

Honoring cultural differences

National Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of the contributions and accomplishments of America’s Hispanic community, is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. In recognition of this year’s celebration, Weed Army Community Hospital and the National Training Center’s EO/EEO Office hosted “Hispanics, A Legacy of History, A Present of Action and a Future of Success,”...
 

 

Soldier, leader, Veteran

The Veterans Day observance provides the country an opportunity to recognize the contributions of past and current servicemembers, but it also gives Soldiers a chance to reflect on experiences and people who have impacted a career in defense of the United States of America. Deployment experiences, friends and family have been a huge influence in...
 
 

Sustainability involves repairs, latest technology, planning for future

The Directorate of Public Works here strives to keep this post, not only operational, but modern for personnel to conduct the mission of the National Training Center. In the past two fiscal years, DPW has been involved with numerous projects that continue the sustainability and upgrading of the installation, said DPW Director Mohammed Bari. Installation...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Lelan Daines

Ten-Miler team places fourth in division

Photo courtesy of Lelan Daines Fort Irwin Soldiers took fourth in their division at the 30th Army Ten-Miler road-race near Washington D.C., Oct. 11. A team of eight Soldiers placed fourth in a mix (male and female) division whi...
 




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