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Free medication consultations available at Aspirus

May 11, 2010

Medication Mondays help prevent medication errors

WAUSAU, Wis. – Aspirus Wausau Hospital is offering free medication consultations to help prevent medication errors in the home, an increasingly common problem in the United States.

According to a 2008 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, deaths from medication mistakes at home increased by 564 percent from 1984 to 2004. This study looks at the most severe medication errors that result in death, but many more people are hospitalized each year because they misuse over-the-counter medications and prescription medications.

“Taking daily medications can be confusing, especially for people recently discharged from a hospital or those who have several chronic conditions,” said Julie Luks, M.D., Medical Director of Senior Health at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. “These people often have to take several different types of medications at varying times during the day without really remembering what they’re for, which makes it difficult to be sure they are taking them properly.”

Aspirus Wausau Hospital offers Medication Mondays on the third Monday of each month. This free program allows people to meet with Aspirus Pharmacy staff for one-on-one medication consultations to get a better understanding of the medications they need to take.

The program is ideal for anyone who:

  • Takes more than four medications or has multiple health conditions.

  • Has questions about organizing or understanding their medications.

  • Gets their medications by mail order or from more than one pharmacy.

  • Wants to reduce their medication expenses.

During a consultation, a pharmacist will review a person’s medications, help them understand how they work and help make an updated medication list. Participants will also receive tips for organizing their medications to ensure they are taken in the correct doses and at the correct times.

As medical care has increasingly shifted from inpatient to outpatient settings, more people are taking medications at home without direct supervision. Additional education can greatly reduce the chances of errors occurring in a home setting.

Anyone interested in the Medication Mondays program can set up an appointment by calling the Aspirus Information Center at 715.847.2380 or 1.800.847.4707.