5 Tips for Caregivers: Better Medical Relationships

One of the lessons I learned early on in my time as a caregiver for my father was that he and I weren’t alone. I’m not talking about the support – both logistical and emotional – we received from family, neighbors and the amazing senior center in our little Cape Cod town. I’m talking about the doctors and nurses who, one by one, became a regular part of our lives. Their help was irreplaceable, but each relationship required its own …

New Warning About Grapefruit and Pills

It’s been known for some time that grapefruit juice can interact badly with some medications, but now Canadian experts warn that even more medications can cause these interactions – and the result, in some cases, can be deadly. Researchers at the University of Western Ontario said that while 17 drugs were identified in 2008 as having the potential to cause very serious problems when taken with grapefruit, the number has now grown to 43. Thirteen drugs may be lethal when …

Too Many Pills: Are We Over-Medicated As We Age?

How many pills do you take a day? Five? Six? More? More than 40 percent of Americans age 65 and older take five medications a day, according to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and each year more than a third will suffer an adverse side effect as a result. New York Times health writer Jane Brody recently wrote about the disastrous effects of over-medication on her 92-year-old aunt, who was taking seven prescription …

Common Meds Can Cut Potency Of Some Cancer Drugs

New research underscores why it’s crucial for all your doctors to know all the drugs you are taking. The study, which looked at possibly harmful drug interactions among patients taking targeted cancer drugs, found that as many as 74 percent of the patients were also taking common medications that could limit the cancer drugs’ effectiveness or cause toxic side effects. The research was conducted by Medco Health Solutions Inc., which manages prescription drug benefit plans for 65 million Americans, and …