Medicines or drugs are purposely discovered to treat a particular illness, if not lessen the symptoms and pain, that a person might experience or feel. Before doctors could prescribe them, series of tests were conducted in a laboratory setting using specialized medical instruments. Then the FDA will reevaluate the drugs before they are distributed to the pharmacies or drug stores for selling. But what if these drugs are the culprits of a person’s admittance in the emergency room?
Recently, the US Centers for Disease and Control Prevention did a survey regarding the primary causes for the increasing emergency room visits of older adults in the United States and they revealed that four drugs are mainly responsible for the increasing number of patients admitted in the ER. The four drugs, identified by the researchers of CDC, are the warfarin, the oral antiplatelet medications, the insulin, and the oral hypoglycemic agents. These drugs are specially classified as for antithrombotic and anti-diabetic medications, which can be prescribed or administered only after the patient is examined by medical doctors using a variety of medical instruments. When we speak of antithrombotic medicines, these are the drugs that help reduce blood clot formation by inhibiting the coagulating actions of the actions of the blood protein thrombin. Meanwhile, anti-diabetic medications are the drugs that help control the blood sugar levels.
Classification and Meaning of the Four Drugs
Warfarin is a water-soluble compound with anticoagulant properties and used to prevent and treat a thrombus by acting on the liver to lessen the amount of major proteins in the blood that allow blood to clot. This drug is also known under the brand names Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan, Lawarin, Waran, and Warfant).
Antiplatelet drugs are antiaggregant, meaning it helps decrease platelet aggregation and inhibit thrombus (blood clot) formation. They are effective in the arterial circulation, where the anticoagulants have little effect.
Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the body. But the animal-derived or synthetic form of this substance is used to treat diabetes by lowering levels sugar (glucose) in the blood.
Oral hypoglycemic drugs are used to treat type 2 diabetes – a disorder that involves resistance to secreted insulin. They are purposely created to treat patients who have not responded to diet, weight reduction, and exercise.
In a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, it highlighted that adverse drug events like allergic reactions and unintentional doses are two of the important things that patients as well as health care professionals who are adept in using a variety of medical instruments should be aware of. Among the effective solutions suggested by the director of CDC’s medication safety program named Dr. Baniel Budnitz in order to These help reduce the increasing cases of emergency hospitalizations among older adults, is for healthcare professionals to be more cautious when prescribing or administering the two mentioned types of medicines. He also added that blood thinners and diabetes medicines often required blood testing and dosing changes. And because a lot of changes might occur in how the organ works as the person ages, doctors should always perform a new diagnosis to the patient before prescribing them some medicines.
For the record, the prevalence of emergency hospitalizations among older adults is said to be very high. About 100,000 emergency hospitalizations for adverse drug events occur in every year and this represents a substantial burden because the number is 25% more than the estimated number of emergency admissions for delirium or dementia.
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