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Is polypharmacy an indication of malpractice in New York?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

In recent years, a growing issue known as polypharmacy has been where individuals take five or more prescription medications. According to the Lown Institute report in 2020, there has been a 200 percent increase in Americans ages 65 and older taking this larger number of prescriptions. The problem has grown to the point where investigators can consider it medical malpractice.

How polypharmacy helps some older individuals

As people age, their organ systems and cellular functions change. These changes can lead to the development of chronic health conditions and an increase in the severity of current conditions. It can become necessary to need more medications to manage the symptoms of these health issues. Various prescription medicines are available to relieve pain and discomfort, enhancing one’s standard of living.

Although multiple medications can effectively ease and prevent severe symptoms, taking them in combination with many other prescriptions can lead to various risk factors. Sometimes, it’s a matter of trial and error to determine what will work for an individual. While many of their symptoms decrease, it may cause bothersome side effects. It’s important to stay in contact with your doctor or the medical team treating your loved one. Tell them about any serious side effects, including changes to functioning and behavior.

Polypharmacy can be medical malpractice

When an individual uses several prescriptions, the situation can become quite complex. If a doctor fails to monitor and adjust a patient’s medications, it may be categorized as a form of malpractice. Doctors may face consequences if they repeatedly prescribe medications that interact negatively, as this can lead to ineffective treatment or harm to the patient.

If you or your loved one have a doctor prescribe you several medications at once, discuss what this means and how they might interact with one another. You should know what common side effects occur with these medications. Your doctor should monitor how you are doing, even if you don’t have any emergencies. If your treatment is being neglected and your concerns are not being addressed, it may be necessary to take action.