Misadventures With Prescription Medications


by: Dr. Sal Giorgianni, PharmD Clinical Pharmacist

Prescription medicines are the most cost-effective ways to manage many health problems and nearly 70% of medical visits result in at least one prescription being written. But, without proper use and monitoring there can be some down sides:

Did you know?

  • Drug Side Effects were the cause of almost 30% of all hospital stays in the US and account for untold thousands of medical visits each year.
  • The antidepressant Zoloft ® (sertraline) has over 1000+ interactions with other drugs. Xanax® (alprazolam), frequently used for anxiety, has over 800.  In fact, most medications can interact with other prescription and non-prescription medications in a way that may be very harmful
  • Up to 25% of medications used by people over 65 may not be necessary; wasting money and exposing them to unnecessary risks.
  • Up to 50% of chronic medications are not taken consistently; this can lead to poor treatment.  This is a particular problem when people do not understand what they are taking or why they are taking it.
  • Many patients have several different health care providers and it can be difficult and confusing to coordinate care and medication use.
  • People 55-65 years old on average take 14 different prescription medications plus many OTC drugs.  While many are needed some often are not.
  • Seniors living alone frequently do not take their medication properly and have no one to help them use medicines properly and avoid problems.
  • Foods and antacids can change the way our body handles medicines and can cause them not to work or increase the danger of side effects.
  • More than 32,000 people over 65 suffer hip fractures because of falls & accidents in part caused by their medications.
  • Many vacationers do not properly prepare for their medication needs while traveling.
  • Young persons with chronic conditions, such as asthma, seizure disorder or diabetes often do not get proper instruction about their conditions or how to use medications.
  • Going into or out of a hospital or long-term or rehabilitation facility and back home are some of the main events when medication problems often happen.

Our Medication Guardian © Consultation services are designed to help you or someone you love maximize benefits of your medicines and decrease the potential for misadventures.  We work with you and your health care providers to simplify your medication routine and eliminate unneeded or duplicate prescription or non-prescription medications.

The Medication Guardian © Consultation Process Is Simple and Guided By Our Clinical Pharmacist, Dr. Sal Giorgianni, PharmD.  We do a complete review of all prescription & non-prescription medications, nutritional or natural products or topical medicines.  We do a thorough and complete review of each of these medicines and your medical conditions to insure you are safely taking what you need and understand them.  We look for ways you may be able to simplify when and how you take them.  Most importantly we will answer your questions and concerns and help you discuss these with your health care providers.  Should we encounter any issues, with your permission, we will contact your health care provider to review them.

We Develop A Personalized Plan To Address Identified Problems and Explain What You Are Taking, Why You Are Taking It and How To Best Take It.  As part of the consultation we develop a simple to-do list of ways you can take better control of your medications.

This Is A Fee Based Self-Pay Service.    We offer a range of retainer and subscription-based services to meet simple needs or complex on-going care. Our fees are based on the complexity of your medications and medical conditions and the type of services you need. The subscription-based service is ideal to give as a gift or safety-net service for family and loved ones.  This is particularly helpful for an older individual who would benefit from expert assistance in managing medications at home or in an assisted living facility, for patients who live alone and have no one to discuss their medications with, are undergoing intensive treatments, have multiple health providers (such as general and specialty physicians, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors or naturopaths) or have frequent medication changes.  It is also an important service for younger patients with difficult chronic diseases to help insure they understand, properly use and stay on treatments. We do not directly bill for services but will provide a statement of services that can be submitted to your insurance provider.  Not all insurances yet provide reimbursement for these services but if you must take medications this is one of the best things you can do to insure you are getting the best benefit from what you are taking. 

If you think Medication Guardian © Consultation services are for you or someone you care about, please call us at 321-622-8155 to learn more.