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Mixing Up Medications

(credit:  Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you look at major developments in health care over the past fifty years, many center around the medications that we prescribe for patients to take on a daily basis to help them live longer. Drugs like the statins which help with cholesterol, blood pressure medications and various medications to control blood sugar or help fight stroke. There are hundreds of them. The result is that this helps people live longer but it also means many of our elderly are taking multiple medications.

It can be confusing for all of us but when people have worsening vision and perhaps their memory is not as good it can lead to mistakes, mistakes that can be deadly.

There is an added problem. We rely on generics because they are cheaper but they come in different shapes and sizes and a person with a prescription for a medication might get a different color or shape for the same generic month after month. This can add to the confusion. I know that companies need to separate their pills from others so that they can be recognized but why not keep the same shape and color with different marks on the pills, and that could save lives.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor