Polypharmacy Problems

ExitCare ImagePolypharmacy problems mean that certain medicines can cause problems when you take them together. Some medicine problems can be life-threatening. Your doctors need to know about all the medicines you take. This includes vitamins, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, prescribed medicines, and creams.


  • Pick one doctor to be in charge of your medicines. Tell this doctor about all the medicines you take, even if they are prescribed by another doctor.

  • Buy all your medicines at the same pharmacy. The pharmacy keeps track of your medicines. They can tell your doctor if there are possible problems with your medicines.

  • Read the instructions you get with your medicines.

  • Keep a list of all your medicines and how much you need to take (doses) with you.

  • Use a system to keep track of your medicines. You can use a pillbox to sort your medicines by the day and time you need to take them.

  • Keep a list of your medical problems with you.

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacy if you have any questions about your medicines.


  • You have any problems that may be caused by your medicines.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You are short of breath.

  • You have a pulse that is not normal.

  • You pass out (faint).

  • You are shaking (tremors).

  • You feel weak or tired (lethargic).

  • You have a rash or puffiness (swelling) in any part of your body.

  • You have more bleeding, or bleeding from the butt (rectum) or vagina.

  • You bruise easily.

  • You have belly (abdominal) pain.

  • You feel sick to your stomach (nauseous).

  • You throw up (vomit).


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.