Are your medications working against each other?

Portland, OR – More than 20 percent of older adults with chronic conditions have been prescribed medications that conflict with each other and may even make another condition worse, concludes a new study from Oregon State University and Yale University.

In a study of 5,815 adults 65 or older, 22.6 percent were found to be taking at least one medication that could worsen another health condition.

Coexisting conditions most likely to be affected by competing medications include hypertension and osteoarthritis; hypertension and diabetes; high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; diabetes and coronary artery disease; and high blood pressure and depression.

Researchers said the problem comes from the practice of treating each condition separately, and suggested it may be better to treat the most serious condition first.

The study was published online Feb. 25 in PLOS One.