Many elderly people take multiple drugs and if a patient has several doctors prescribing drugs, none of them may ask about other medicines that are taken and then check to be sure there are no interactions. Thus it is usually up to a husband, wife, partner, son or daughter to do the checking. Some people take as many as 20 or more medicines a day. My advice is to take all the medicines to a pharmacist you trust and get him or her to check for interactions. I would stay away from big, busy drug stores because they often have multiple people working behind the counter and the pharmacists may be too busy to help. Hospital pharmacists should be able to help.
Drug interactions can cause real problems. They can cause neurological difficulties, dizziness, rapid heart beats, blurring of the vision and changes in blood counts. A new problem that is going to become more prevalent as nurse practitioners and physicians assistants obtain greater power is that they may prescribe a drug and not know the possible difficulties that can occur if another drug is being taken. One pharmacist told me that local nurse practitioners often called him to ask what medicine to prescribe for patients. I was horrified. I would be particularly careful that only a pediatrician or family doctor write a prescription for a child. I can remember a neurologist in a big medical school who let his nurse practitioner prescribe medicine for a child's seizures. I often had to check on drug interactions when there were other medicine the child was taking. I had a wonderful pharmacist who helped me with this and together I think we saved several kids from some really bad drug interactions. You just cannot be too careful when medications are prescribed.