Twenty thousand people injured in car accidents. More than 3,500 KILLED. And yet NO ONE is talking about it.
With those kinds of numbers, if it were a mechanical issue, there would have been a massive recall. Not to mention bunches of multi-million dollar lawsuits.
But it links back to Big Pharma, so it’s being swept under the rug.
Not too long ago I introduced you to the term polypharmacy. It’s the technical term for the cocktail of drugs many folks are on these days. And shockingly, nearly 50 percent of seniors are taking more than five meds per day.
Even worse one in five seniors are also taking “potentially inappropriate medications” or PIMs, according to the American Geriatrics Society.
PIMs may just be ineffective. But in many cases, they can cause more harm than good, leaving seniors confused, dizzy, and cognitively impaired.
And with more than 42 million drivers over the age of 65 on the road that means there could be over 21 million folks out there overmedicated and in danger.
Drug side effects could make driving deadly
Medication side effects such as blurry vision and slowed reaction times are often heightened in seniors. Yet according to a new survey by AAA, less than 18 percent of seniors were ever warned drugs they’re taking could affect their driving skills.
Even worse, some of the WORST culprits aren’t always the ones you’d expect.
Most folks realize popping a pain pill and driving isn’t a good combination. But other common drugs such as heart meds, blood pressure pills, and anti-anxiety medications can also cause side effects that should have you calling a cab.
And drug combos can quickly put you on the fast track towards an accident too.
The risk of interactions between medications you’re taking skyrockets when you’re already a victim of polypharmacy. And the more doctors you see, the more likely it is that potentially dangerous and even deadly combos get overlooked.
4 ways to stay in control while driving
If you want to be in full control of your car, you need to start taking control of your doctor’s appointments.
And that means taking these simple steps so you can stay safer on the road…
- Take a list of your current medications to your next appointment. Go over everything you’re taking with your doc to be sure none of your meds could be causing problems, on or off the road.
- Bring an updated meds list with you to each appointment you go to after that, too. And that includes specialists and doctors you see less often.
- Are the drugs you’re taking appropriate for your age and condition? Check to find out. Your pharmacist can often help with identifying PIMs too.
- Get a regular eye exam. You’ll be more likely to notice changes in vision caused by your meds when you know your prescription is accurate.
For many of us, especially as we age, driving is an important part of feeling independent and in control. But if you’re taking prescription medications, it’s possible that control is just an illusion.
Start managing your meds to take back control of your driving… and your life… today.
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