Medication Reviews for Multi-Medication Users
If you have chronic conditions that require you to take more than five different medications for six months or more, the Andalucian Public Health System considers you to be a "multi-medication user". That could make you eligible for a standardised review of your medications with the aim of studying possible interactions and long term side effects of taking all these different substances simultaneously.
As always, the first step is a visit to your family doctor - and don't forget to take along all medication that has been prescribed for your various conditions. It's up to your family doctor to determine whether you meet the criteria of the programme.
If you are eligible, then a doctor is supposed to review all of your medications to study their possible interactions and long terms effects. This may involve consultation with specialists in your different conditions.
Obviously, you face the possibility of changes in the medications or dosages you're taking but hopefully these would be changes that would improve your quality of life both now and in the long term. If you feel concerned about the possible changes, remember it's always recommendable to have someone along on doctors' visits to interpret for you if you don't feel able to communicate in Spanish. This, however, is one of those situations in which a good translator is a must as it is so important that you are able to discuss your medications in depth with your doctor. For more information about language services in Andalucia's Public Health system, click here.
I spoke with a public health nurse to find out how this service - which sounds so good in writing - is actually carried out in practice. She was sceptical about it because she works in a primary care centre and had never heard about it. Therefore, you may need to arm yourself with information and advice from Salud Responde, the public health information line, before you head in to ask your doctor for the review.