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A high-risk medication is one that may cause serious health problems if taken improperly, or taken with another drug or food item that it may interact with. Some examples include:
Taking multiple medications together may affect how they work and may even be dangerous.
As you age, your body begins to handle medication differently than it used to. If you are age 65 or older, you should take special care when taking your medication, even though you may feel perfectly healthy. As they age, some people may experience changes in:
In some cases, your kidneys and liver may need more time to process medication, and some medications may stay in your body longer. These changes may cause your medication to be stronger or weaker than it has been in the past, and you may be more likely to experience side effects. You also can experience side effects from taking multiple medications that may interact together in a way that is harmful to your body. You can work to make sure that the medications you are taking are safe by learning more about high-risk medications and talking to your doctor about your treatment and the medications you take.
If your doctor prescribes you a high-risk medication, it does not mean you should not take it; it just means that you should take care when using a high-risk medication and discuss any concerns with your doctor. Some things to remember:
Talk to your doctor about any high-risk medication you take. Simple cold medications or even herbs may interact poorly with high-risk medications. Some questions you may want to ask your doctor include:
PDFReview this list (link opens in new window) to see if you are currently taking a high-risk medication.