Harvard Women's Health Watch

Avoiding dangerous drug interactions

How to make sure the medicines you're taking are safe for you.

Every day you may go through a ritual, swallowing one or more drugs to lower your blood pressure, strengthen your bones, prevent a heart attack or stroke, relieve pain, or slow the progression of other health conditions. Many older adults take five or more different prescription drugs a day.

Drugs are intended to treat medical conditions and help you feel better, but they can also have side effects and interactions. An estimated 100,000 Americans ages 65 and older are hospitalized each year for adverse drug reactions, according to a 2011 study in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

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