Using medical technology to combat prescription drug-related weight gain

Issues with prescription medication addiction and abuse have been identified as a significant global problem. However, many different news sources recently reported on a separate issue associated with prescription medication intake: weight gain.

Leading the charge on researching correlations between prescription medication and obesity is Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, the current director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Based on research conducted by Cheskin and his colleagues in the late 1990's, superior classifications now exist to determine which medications are more heavily associated with weight gain.

For example, reports state that antipyschotic drugs and steroids designed to treat mood disorders are major contributors to weight increase because they alter parts of the brain linked to appetite stimulation.

"Some medicines make an early, noticeable difference, causing patients to become ravenously hungry, while changes are subtle for others." states Cheskin. "A few months taking them and you've gained 10 pounds."

Considering the link that exists between the intake of presciption drugs and weight gain, it may benefit facility managers to hire a medical technology firm to implement a suite of products that include electronic medical records and eprescribing software.

By transitioning to this technology, healthcare providers considering treating a patient with medication that could cause weight gain can refer to a clear picture of a patient's clinical history. With this information so readily accessible, a physician can check if the patient has a history of weight problems, and potentially provide a different treatment that won't exacerbate a pre-exisiting risk for obesity. 

This ability will assist facility managers in ensuring their doctors are not simultaneously treating one condition while creating another.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.