8 Medicinal Precautions for Older Adults

With the coming of age, the human body is naturally subjected to the ailments that it brings. When you grow old, you tend to become more fragile to lurking infections and viruses. Not to mention the bone or heart health problems that you may already have.

Since the body loses its power to sustain immunity along with aging, the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health and Aging ardently advises the caution of medication overuse among older adults.

NSAIDs - Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for people with complaints of pain in their bodies including inflammation. Strong NSAIDs like piroxicam and indomethacin have been known to cause problems associated with blood pressure, ulcers pertaining to the stomach and heart failure in older adults.

NSAIDs needn't be prescribed to older adults in the first place and even if they need to be treated by these drugs, ibuprofen and salsalate are much safer choices.

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Muscle Relaxants - Muscle relaxants like cyclobenzaprine and carisoprodol etc. may leave older adults drowsy and dizzy, and hence liable to falling and getting hurt. With no knowledge of the exact effectiveness of these drugs, they render you groggy and dry mouthed with problems associated with the endocrine system.

Sedatives - Benzodiazepines and sleeping pills are more common among older adults than anyone else because they tend to provide freedom from growing anxiety and insomnia that is caused by aging. Knowing that you're consuming the right sedative is quite important to avoid having falls in public or sleeping till dinner time. These drugs may keep you calm but sometimes, the extended half-life leaves you befuddled and lethargic.

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Cardiac Medications - Medication prescribed to patients with heart illnesses like irregular heartbeat or total heart failure known as digoxin. If given in doses exceeding 0.125 milligrams, it may cause toxic reactions in older adults with persisting kidney problems.

Diabetes Drugs - Patients suffering from diabetes are often prescribed drugs like chlorpropamide and glyburide. For older adults, these drugs can result into low blood sugar level severity.

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Pain Relievers Containing Opium - Opioid pain relievers are also known to be narcotic analgesics which can cause seizures and hallucinations among older adults. The effects also include disorientation and the tendency to slip and fall at any given time of the day. These drugs are generically known as meperidine and pentazocine.

Anti-psychotic Drugs - Medications like Haloperidol, risperidone, and quetiapine as known as anti-psychotic drugs. These are used in the treatment of mental disorders like schizophrenia and other kinds of depression including bipolar disorder. If prescribed to an elderly, these drugs can yield fatal results such as heart strokes or in severe cases, even death. Anti-psychotic drugs can also induce tremors in older adults which can lead to their falling.

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Estrogen - Estrogen is provided in the form of medication or patches to elderly women dealing with menopausal issues. As these pills or patches help in relieving many symptoms like hot flashes etc, they can also be the reason behind the formation of blood clots and breast cancer in a woman's body. The effects may also include signs of dementia.

Drug interaction should always be monitored among older adults as they are more liable to drug side effects than others. A controlled prescription and a close watch should be kept on such individuals.

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