The week of 25-29 November 2019 will mark the fourth annual #MedSafetyWeek, where medicine regulatory authorities across the world will take part in a social media campaign to raise awareness of medicine side effects, and the importance of reporting them. This year’s campaign focuses on polypharmacy, with the overarching message that reporting side effects helps protect patients when taking multiple medicines.
The Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) will be participating in the annual social media campaign and support the importance of reporting side effects via DRA website (www.dra.gov.bt) or directly reporting to the nearest health care centers. #MedSafetyWeek is a joint effort between 57 medicine regulatory authorities across the globe.
Polypharmacy is defined as the simultaneous use of four or more prescription, over-the-counter or traditional medicines at the same time. Polypharmacy increases the likelihood of a patient having side effects, due to the increased risk of interactions between medicines, and with foods or herbal products.
Although polypharmacy is common in older people, anyone who routinely uses multiple medicines at the same time can be affected. This includes people with long-term chronic conditions, who regularly take multiple medicines. Studies show that one third of people over 75 years old take at least six medicines, with over a million people taking eight or more medicines daily.
DRA encourages all the individuals to report the medicines side effects/adverse drug reactions to the DRA or nearest healthcare centers.