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Volume 38, No. 2

Drug & Vitamin Interactions

The growing danger of mixing prescription drugs and supplements

A growing number of older adults are combining multiple prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements in ways that could lead to serious side effects, according to a new study.

From 2006 to 2011, the number of older adults (ages 62 to 85) in the United States taking five or more medications or supplements rose from 53.4% to 67.1%.

A common prescription drug, for example, is warfarin, a blood thinner. But combining it with a supplement such as omega-3 fish oils, which skyrocketed in popularity during the period of the study, increases the risk of bleeding for certain patients.

The number of older adults taking at least one prescription medication or dietary supplement rose between 2005 and 2011, while over-the-counter medications became less prevalent. Read the full article.


Originally published March 21, 2016 by CNN. By Carina Storrs.

Image by Nico Paix. See licensing agreement.

For informational purposes only - not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor an endorsement by the American Nutrition Association®. Use permitted for non-profit and non-commercial uses or by healthcare professionals in their practice, with attribution to www.AmericanNutritionAssociation.org. Other use only with written ANA℠ permission. Views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the ANA℠. Works by a listed author subject to copyrights as marked. © 2010 ANA℠