What are the risks of poly-drug use?

What are the risks of poly-drug use?

More recently within the Personal Injury Insurance sector, Insurers and Allied Health Providers have developed a deeper understanding of complex injuries. This has led to a multidisciplinary approach to managing claims and in some cases enlisting the services of several Health Professionals. Injured people now face a more complicated road to recovery. One growing complication Claims Pharmacy has identified is an increase in poly-drug use. While valuable to recovery, poly-drug use carries many risks that injured people may not be aware of.

Claims Pharmacy has identified nearly 40% of injured Australians we are supporting within the Personal Injury Insurance sector are consuming 5 or more ‘claim related’ medications per day.

Defined as taking more than one drug at a time, poly-drug use can be beneficial to an injured person’s overall recovery when prescribed by a medical professional. Many injuries and traumas can have varied symptoms that need to be treated with different medications, an example of this could be injuries sustained as a result of a car accident. Opioids can be used to treat physical injuries, while benzodiazepines can be used to treat psychological injuries such as anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, this can be risky for the injured person. This is due to the various medications negatively interacting with one another, culminating into potential serious side effects.

It is important that poly-drug use is only done under the supervision and direction of a medical professional. Medication mismanagement, as found by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, can lead to serious consequences such as:

  • Increased serious side effects such as fever and sweating, vomiting, muscle spasms, seizures, shallow breathing, anxiety, blackouts and memory loss, heart problems, kidney failure, coma
  • Reduction in functional capacity
  • Drugs rendering each other ineffective
  • Increased chance of sedation

In addition to these risks, poly-drug use accounts for an increasing amount of unintentional overdose deaths. Pennington Institute’s 2021 Overdose Report identified that these deaths have been increasing by 3% each year. While this is troubling, these risks, and their consequences, can be averted.

At Claims Pharmacy, we understand the risks injured people can face when it comes to poly-drug use. That is why we aim to help injured people at every step of their recovery. Our data analysis helps monitor and identify poly-drug use and resolve any potential risks. Our Medication Management program focuses heavily on collaboration and communication between all stakeholders. This assists in improving overall functional capacity and creates better opportunities for a safe and durable return to work.

Claims Pharmacy knows the importance of protecting injured people. Our data driven program is a true prevention initiative making it easier to prevent a problem in the early stages. It helps to monitor an injured person’s progress, minimise their reliance on medication, and ensure they get back to optimal health as quickly as possible.

For more information on our end-to-end medication program, please contact Claims Pharmacy on 1300 926 220 or email us at ask@claimspharmacy.com.au

The information on this website is not a substitute for medical advice, nor is it to be used for diagnosis and treatment.