HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS 1
Because Ms. Jones is taking many drugs such as Tylenol, warfarin, aswell as herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba, she is vulnerable todrug-drug interactions, which can lead to adverse health effects.According to Jesson (2011), seniors experience drug related problemsincluding drug interactions, ineffectiveness, under dosage, adversedrug effects, and overdosage. The following is a list of drug relatedproblems that could be causing Ms. Jones’ Atrial fibrillation,incontinence, dizziness, and irregular heart rate.
Drug interactions. Ginkgo biloba, when taken with warfarin, can lead to Ms. Jones risk of internal bleeding. Ginkgo biloba increases the effect of blood thinning medications (Jesson, 2011).
The interaction between Ginkgo Biloba, lots of Tylenol, and warfarinmight alter the blood pressure.
Overdosage. Ms. Jones might be suffering from hemorrhage due to excessive use of Tylenol.
Side effects. One of warfarin side effects that Ms. Jones is suffering from is dizziness, which requires immediate medical attention.
Educationon Herbal Medicines
Older adults’ education about the consequences of using the herbalmedications with other drugs is paramount to reduce medical risksassociated with them. They should be taught that use of multiplemedicines and herbs leads to drug interactions that might causemedical problems. Therefore, before using any herbal medicines, theymust consult their physicians. Moreover, they should be taught thatjust because herbs are natural, it does not mean they are effectiveor safe for human consumption.
Jesson (2011) observed that some herbal medicines are unsuitable forspecific medical conditions. Also, most of the time, herbs arelabeled falsely therefore, they may contain toxic contaminants andadditives that are not on the label.
The high and improper dosage of herbs and supplements not only causeallergic reactions, but also can lead to adverse medical conditionsif they happen to interact with conventional medicines. For thatreason, older adults must acquire enough knowledge about herbalproducts and know that using these herbal medicines withoutconsulting a doctor is not advisable. However, proper use of herbalscan treat a broad range of medical conditions with fewer sideeffects.
Jesson, B.(2011). Minimizing the risks of polypharmacy: Barbara Jesson looks athow aging can affect the benefits of medication and the ways in whichtreatment can be improved. Nursing Older People, 23(4),14-21.