Riskiest LTC drug combos announced

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The Multidisciplinary Medication Management Project has announced the most dangerous drug interactions for seniors in long-term care settings. The list includes Warfarin drugs, ACE inhibitors and digoxin.

"Statistically, if you take six different drugs, you have an 80% chance of at least one drug-drug interaction," says Wayne K. Anderson, Dean of State University of New York School of Pharmacy.

The initiative warns against the drugs because of their frequency of use by nursing home residents, as well as the adverse consequences they incur when combined. The group, a combined effort by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the American Medical Directors Association, was formed to help healthcare providers prescribe fewer multiple-medication combinations with adverse effects.

About 28% of adverse drug experiences in senior citizens are preventable, according to researchers writing in the March 2003 Journal of the American Medical Association. Earlier, a 1997 report found that 35% of ambulatory elderly experienced at least one adverse event from drug interaction and required medical attention as a result.

More information on the list can be found at http://www.scoup.net/M3Project/about.