School of Public Health

Dr. Jennifer Jacobs releases new book on the dangers of overmedication

UW Epi News
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Friday, May 18, 2018

Dr. Jennifer Jacobs, University of Washington Department of Epidemiology clinical assistant professor, released her book "Do You Really Need That Pill? How to Avoid Side Effects, Interactions, and Other Dangers of Overmedication." The book investigates the epidemic overuse of prescription drugs. 

The first half of the book describes the dangers of taking too many drugs, including drug-drug interactions, medication errors, uninten­tional overdoses, unnecessary medications, made-up illnesses (“restless leg syndrome”), and side effects that actually mimic a new illness.

The second half discusses the benefits and harms caused by many of the most popular drugs used to treat diseases, such as high blood pres­sure, diabetes, high cholesterol, acid reflux, depression, and pain. It tells which drugs are really needed and whether or not they cause side effects.

Finally, readers will learn: how to discuss their concerns about too many medications with their healthcare providers, simple ways to make positive lifestyle changes, and when to consider alternative heal­ing approaches.