Do I need all these prescription meds?

One in 5 adults age 40-plus take at least five Rxs. The risk comes when you have multiple docs all writing prescriptions with no reliable communication between them, says Amie Taggart Blaszczyk, division head of geriatrics at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy. Keep a written list of every prescription and over-the-counter drug and supplment you’re taking, how often and the dose. Cross-check this list with each of your doctors.

The above is good advice. Keep in mind too that your pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) – your drug plan – also monitors for possible drug interaction.

If you are taking several different medications for different conditions being prescribed by different doctors, it’s a good idea to let your primary doctor review them all and possibly discuss concerns with your other doctors.


  1. A friend of mine in the nursing home takes 21 different daily medications. He asked his doctor if this wasn’t excessive. His doctor said, nah, he had patients taking over 50 different daily medications. How can that possibly be? Interactions and dosages, how do they work together?


  2. I also take 4 meds daily and have been doing so for years. I always check the drug interaction warnings if I have to take another short term. I go online to check and ask the pharmacist when I pick it up. So far so good. I know some folks who take whatever is prescribed without question and some older people who are just too trusting with their docs and prescriptions.


  3. I am one of those five and I keep asking that same question. I always want to know, if I cannot afford my medication any longer which one can I give up without dying. So far I can pay for all my medication and it seem to keep me in good health but it just seems wrong to be “dependent” on so many drugs.

    It seems like every time I fill out a medical form, even for an x-ray, I have to list my drugs. I just hand them a paper list.


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