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All Posts in Category: Medication Management

Programs and Therapies Explore Ways to Manage Pain

Deborah Sferlazza, 60, a former school principal, lives with chronic pain — but she’s learned ways to put her pain “in the back seat. It (the pain) is not always invited to the party,” she said.

After three surgeries to fix her discs, the pain remained. Her medications take some of the edge off, but she is unable to work and went on disability.

“I was treating myself like a china doll, worrying that anything I might do would break me,” she said.

She stopped socializing.

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‘Extreme’ Opioid Use and Doctor Shopping Still Plague Medicare

In Washington, D.C., a Medicare beneficiary filled prescriptions for 2,330 pills of oxycodone, hydromorphone and morphine in a single month last year – written by just one of the 42 health providers who prescribed the person such drugs.

In Illinois, a different Medicare enrollee received 73 prescriptions for opioid drugs from 11 prescribers and filled them at 20 different pharmacies. He sometimes filled prescriptions at multiple pharmacies on the same day.

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Motivation to Move: Study Finds Mild Exercise Helps Decrease Pain and Improve Activity Level in Older Adults

It’s never too late to reap the benefits of exercise, and that includes older adults with arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions, according to a study. Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) found that a low-impact exercise program in senior centers in New York City’s Chinatown and Flushing, Queens communities helped decrease pain, improve mobility and enhance quality of life for many participants.

The study, titled “Effects of a Culturally Tailored Low-Impact Exercise Program for Chinese Older Adults in NYC”, was presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Denver.

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Physical Therapy: An Alternative for Pain Management

We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic. Nearly 25.3 million adults suffer from daily (chronic) pain, according to the CDC. Yet a large number of patients, many of them seniors, need help managing pain. Are there alternatives to these medications, which may cause addiction and dangerous side effects?

Physical therapy is one of the non-opioid alternatives recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recently released guidelines that urge prescribers to reduce the use of opioids for most long-term pain management. The guidelines indicate that while prescription opioids are appropriate in certain cases (such as cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care), non-opioid approaches are preferred, given the damaging potential side effects of opioids, which include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.

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Medications for Alzheimer’s Disease

Once a diagnosis is made, the first question that comes to mind is, “What type of treatment is available?” Is there medication? Is there a cure? These are common concerns once dementia enters the picture.

Although current medications cannot cure Alzheimer’s (AD) or stop it from progressing, they may help lessen symptoms in some people, such as memory loss and confusion, for a limited time.

We have gathered information from the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on Aging regarding drugs that are approved by the FDA to treat AD.

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How to Prevent Medication-Related Problems

If the healthcare industry tracked the costs of addressing medication related problems (MRPs) it would be the fourth most costly “disease” after cancer, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. This cost reflects only the direct healthcare costs, those costs paid directly to prescribers, hospitals, rehab/emergency care/ long-term care services and for medications, anything billed or paid for by the healthcare system and consumer.

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Preventive Screening for Seniors: Is That Test Really Necessary?

Caregivers and seniors often find themselves inundated with messages touting the benefits of this cancer detection test, or that diagnostic exam.

And, for those over 65, Medicare offers about a dozen free screenings—from bone density measurements to mammograms.

But, are all those tests really necessary?

The honest answer to this vital question is, regrettably, very complex.

Age is really just a number

Many health organizations, including, the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), use age-based cut-offs to determine recommendations for certain screenings.

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Adult Vaccination: Protect Yourself, Protect Others

In the interest of promoting more robust discourse around the importance of regular vaccinations for serious but preventable contagious conditions, MHA@GW is hosting a guest post series in honor of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). has paired with MHA@GW to encourage people of all ages to receive the proper vaccinations in order to protect their health and others’. Read more about this project here.

For many people, the topic of vaccinations evokes childhood memories of anxious trips to the doctor for shots. However, keeping up with recommended vaccine schedules through adulthood and old age is just as imperative as receiving those initial doses in childhood.

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A Caregiver’s Intro to Parkinson’s Psychosis

Shaky hands, an unsteady walk, limbs that unexpectedly freeze in place; these symptoms are practically synonymous with Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is a devastating and complex disease that interferes with movement. As it progresses, it produces a wide range of other problems. The neurological condition also has a lesser known (but no less challenging) symptom called Parkinson’s disease Psychosis.

“Parkinson’s disease psychosis is a common and very disabling non-motor feature of this disease, and patients have a substantial risk of eventually having this problem,” says Richard B. Dewey Jr., MD, professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics and Director of the Clinical Center for Movement Disorders at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

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Why It’s Best to Occasionally Review Your Medicines With Your Doctor

Every person will probably take medicine at some point. As people accumulate medical problems, the number of medicines they take is likely to increase too.

Understanding your treatment is an important aspect of maintaining your overall health and well-being. And there are questions you need to ask your doctor to determine whether the benefits of taking your medicine outweighs the risk of taking it.

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Heart Medications and Adherence

Medication doesn’t do much good when it never leaves the bottle. And yet the American Heart Association estimates that 12 percent of all Americans don’t take their medication after getting a prescription. Another 12 percent don’t fill their prescriptions in the first place. And many more quit getting refills: A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that five years after seniors were prescribed cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, only 26 percent of seniors were still taking them.

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