Taking handfuls of pills several times a day is a struggle for everyone for several reasons, but it’s even more difficult for seniors. Older people may find that crushing or otherwise altering their medications makes taking medications much easier.
But there’s a hidden danger to altering medications in this way and it’s one that aged care compounding can help with. So, let’s take a look at this hidden threat and how your compounding pharmacy can help eliminate it.
Why crush medications?
Many older people and people in aged care homes struggle to swallow medications. This can be because of their health conditions, general fatigue and weakness, or because their medications are too numerous, too large, or hard to swallow. This is an ongoing problem for older people as well as their carers.
One of the most common ways to overcome this issue is to crush medications and give them in syrup. This makes them easier to swallow and also tastes a lot better too. But a recent study has shown that this practice is causing more problems than it solves.
Why not crush medications?
Up to one third of people in aged care homes have their medications crushed and even more people still living at home do the same. However, a report released by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia claims that this practice was potentially harmful in 15 to 32 percent of cases.
Medications are increasingly complex these days and crushing them without the right knowledge and understanding can lead to:
- Increase toxicity
- Altered absorption
- Changes in the stability of the medication
- Reduced effectiveness
- Negative changes in the taste of medications
Basically, crushing medications without fully understanding them changes the way they work. This could lead to patients being over or under medicated and may even lead to harm in some cases.
Of course, this only applies when medications are crushed by carers, family members, or anyone else who doesn’t have the pharmaceutical knowledge to understand the needs and dangers of aged care compounding. Here’s how your local pharmacy can do it better.
Professional aged care compounding
At your local pharmacy, they’re experts in aged care compounding and are the safest alternative to crushing medication at home or in an aged care facility. Your pharmacist can create compounded medication that:
- Suits the needs and health conditions of the older person
- Is in a liquid or powder form so it’s easy to take
- Remains effective and stable
- Carries no increased risk of toxicity
- Combines medications where possible to reduce the overall frequency or number of medications taken
Aged care compounding: the takeaway
Caring for an older person is difficult and complex. They have complex medication needs and can easily suffer harm because of their medications or other issues.
If you’re concerned that your loved one is struggling to take their medications, then it’s vital that you look for expert help. Talk to your pharmacist today about how aged care compounding can ensure your loved one gets the right medications as safely, simply, and easily as possible.