Medications older people should try to avoid
When we are ill, taking medication is the first step to treat whatever is ailing us. Most medications are well known and come from trusted brands, so we feel at ease when popping a pill, or taking a swig. However, no matter the manufacturer, there are contra-indications for many of our well-known remedies, because of the different chemicals that go into them. Medicine is, in fact, a mixture of chemicals, which may not always react with our bodies in a pleasant way.
This is even more so when we age.
Certain medications are not suitable for people over a certain age, the same way babies and young children are not allowed to consume certain medications. It has to do with how the aging process changes the way our body processes certain ingredients.
Older adults often have long-term health conditions that require treatment with multiple medications, there is a greater chance of experiencing unwanted drug side effects. Older people can also be more sensitive to certain medications, explains Health Aging.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are used to reduce pain and inflammation, which are common ailments of the elderly. However, overuse could have nasty side effects.
Because many older people also suffer from kidney problems, using NSAIDS can be fatal, as our kidneys help to filter toxins from the body.
NSAIDs have been known to increase the risk of bleeding stomach ulcers. There is also evidence that they may increase blood pressure and aggravate heart failure,
Muscle relaxants are known to not only cause psychedelic reactions, but can also cause confusion, and disorientation. Prolonged use can result in liver and kidney damage.
People have reported insomnia, headaches and dry mouth after use.
Cough and Cold Medications
Previously presumed to be harmless and even available over the counter (without a prescription) the use of cold and cough medicine has recently been advised against for both babies and the elderly. Their effectiveness against the symptoms of the common cold has been questioned and it’s believed they do more harm than good.
Many of these medications contain NSAIDs to relieve pain. They also often have decongestants in them, reports WebMD. Decongestants, which open the airways with the use of steroids, can make your heart disease worse by elevating your blood pressure.
Medication to treat migraines
Migraine medication works by tightening blood vessels in your head to ease your head pain, but it also narrows other blood vessels in your body, increasing your blood pressure.
Many appetite suppressants give you an energy boost, which can also affect your blood pressure. Some weight-loss medications can cause problems with your heart valves, putting more stress on your heart.
Regardless of the medication you choose to use, for whatever reason, be sure to consult a physician. Read labels thoroughly before consuming anything, whether over the counter or on prescription.