Q: How can I keep track of the medications from all my different doctors?

A: I see the “polypharmacy” scenario frequently, as medication management is a service I provide to my care management clients. Seniors often see numerous physicians and specialists, each of whom may prescribe medications. Polypharmacy is the concurrent use of multiple medications — sometimes a head-spinning number! These may include unnecessary medications, or drugs that interact negatively with each other. Here are some strategies to ensure you’re not over medicating (or taking wrong meds), while keeping your doctors informed.


  • Maintain a Medication List: Create a detailed list of all your medications. Include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, supplements and vitamins. In addition to the medication name, add the dosage, frequency, prescribing physician, allergies and your pharmacy information. Some pharmacies and online sites have templates for organizing your medication list.
  • Medication Reviews: Schedule regular medication reviews with your pharmacist. These highly trained professionals can help assess the necessity of each medication, potential interactions and identify duplicates or medications of questionable continued use. This is made easier when one pharmacy fills all of your prescriptions.
  • Open Communication: Discuss ALL of your medications with each of your healthcare providers –and alert them to any recent changes. Be proactive– ask questions about the purpose of each medication and potential side effects.
  • Medication Adherence: Take medications as prescribed, following recommended dosages and frequency. Pill organizers or reminder apps can help you stay on track. Avoid “self-medicating” or taking medications without consulting a healthcare professional.
  • Generic Alternatives: Ask for generic alternatives for medications whenever possible. Affordable generic medications can help reduce the financial burden of managing multiple prescriptions.
  • Regular Check-ups: Monitor your overall health with regular check-ups with your primary care physician. They can adjust your medications as your health situation warrants.
  • Consider Aging Life Care: For a monthly fee, Certified Care Managers will coordinate care with all of your health care providers and facilitate communication with family members. In addition to other services, they will follow up with your doctors, safeguard against redundant prescriptions and ensure that your medications align with your overall treatment plan.


Take an active role in researching your medications, to understand their potential side effects and interactions. Join me May 14th at One Senior Place in Viera, as Pharmacist Luke Zippi from Savers Drug Mart talks to us about polypharmacy and takes questions from the audience about how to manage prescription drugs. RSVP online or by calling 321-751-6771.


One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging. Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse, Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera. Ms. Conway hosts a monthly seminar, ‘Senior Health Friday with Nurse Lisa.’