Most common drugs tied to ER visits
I use Pradaxa instead of Warfarin, but it’s still somewhat of an unknown risk compared to the known risks of warfarin. Achieving and maintaining a therapeutic level or dose of Warfarin is difficult and requires frequent blood testing. Pradaxa doesn’t require the testing, but hasn’t been used for long periods by large populations of patients.
There’s one rule I adhere to: better to miss a dose of your blood thinner or baby asprin than to overdose.
Working with a nationally representative database, CDC researchers identified more than 5,000 cases of drug-related adverse events that occurred among people aged 65 and older from 2007 to 2009 and used that to make their estimates for the whole population.
Nearly half (48 percent) of the hospitalizations occurred among adults 80 and up, according to the study, published in the Nov. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) were the result of unintentional overdoses.
The four medications, used alone or together, most often cited:
The blood thinning medication warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), which is used to treat blood clots, was involved in 33 percent of emergency hospitalizations.
Insulin, used to control blood sugar in diabetes patients, was involved in 14 percent of cases.
Antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix), which are used to prevent blood clots, were involved in 13 percent of cases.
Oral hypoglycemic agents — diabetes medications taken by mouth — were involved in 11 percent of cases.
With antiplatelet or blood thinning drugs, bleeding was the main problem. For insulin and other diabetes medications, about two-thirds of cases involved changes in mental status such as confusion, loss of consciousness or seizures.