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Published on 27 May 2011 12:00 PM

1 in 3 over 50s in Wales is regularly taking more than one type of medication according to new figures from Age Cymru.

The charity is today launching a new booklet for older people on taking their medication safely called ‘You and your medication’.

Age Cymru’s Health Initiatives Officer Rhian Pearce says:

“Our research highlights how widespread the use of medications – from over-the-counter medications such as painkillers, inhalers or other sprays, is by over 50s across Wales.

“It also reveals that a significant amount of over 50s is using more than one type of medication on a regular basis.

“The more medications we take, the more potential side-effects – such as drowsiness or stomach upsets, we may have to deal with.

“There is also a greater risk that different types of medication may interact with each other and impair the effectiveness of one or more treatments.

“It is also important to know how to take all medications properly to ensure that they are working effectively to manage the conditions for which they are prescribed or purchased.

“This is why Age Cymru has produced ‘You and your medication’ – a handy, full-colour, bilingual guide about how to manage your medications.”

‘You and your medication’ contains a ten point guide to taking your medicines safely, as well as advice about hospital and GP appointments and information about alcohol and medication.

The booklet also has a list of useful contacts and a form you can use to keep a handy record of the medications you are taking.

Rhian Pearce concludes: “ ‘You and your medication’ gives you general information about how to take your medications safely – including the importance of having your medications reviewed regularly, to help you take ownership of your health.

“Your pharmacist can give you a free medication review and talk to you about your medication and how best to take them – why not ask for one the next time you pop into your local chemist?”

You can get a copy of this leaflet by contacting Age UK Advice - our free advice line, on freephone 0800 169 65 65.

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444