The fact that older citizens tend to have many chronic diseases, each of which calls for a different medicine, raises the likelihood that they may experience unfavorable responses to their medication while on long term care.
Additionally, the elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of some drugs. There is a possibility that their digestive system will slow down the absorption of medications.
Because of their liver condition, the medication may accumulate in the bloodstream, or it may not enter the bloodstream as quickly as it should. And if you have problems with your kidneys, it could affect how well the medicine is eliminated from the body as waste.
To assist the public in making more educated decisions regarding medications and to reduce the likelihood of experiencing adverse drug reactions or overdosing due to those medications, the American Geriatrics Society created the Beers list that advises the public to exercise caution when using the medications listed below:
- Non-Steroidal Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs
NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can worsen preexisting conditions like stomach ulcers, hypertension, heart failure, and kidney damage. They often do not make for a healthy combination with blood thinners, diabetes drugs, diuretics, or blood pressure medications.
- Sleeping aids
Sleeping pills are meant for short-term use (a couple of weeks at the most), but some people would be using them for extended periods. You may have trouble keeping your balance and feel sluggish first thing in the morning. Your capacity for clear thinking may be affected. Diphenhydramine, the primary component of many different sleeping pills, has been linked to an increased risk of dry mouth, blurred vision, and issues with the bladder.
Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, are OTC meds or medications that can be purchased without a prescription and are often recommended by medical professionals to patients who suffer from hay fever. They can stop you from sneezing, although some have more adverse effects than others. Certain antihistamines may make older adults feel more drowsy and confused than usual, increasing the risk of falling.
- Anti-anxiety drugs such as Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines are a type of medication that is used to treat anxiety. They include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and chlordiazepoxide (Librium). Some of these medications will remain in your system for significantly longer than others. Their adverse effects, such as confusion, can linger well beyond the day you take them, increasing your risk of falling.
Parkinson’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression are just some of the conditions that may benefit from using these medications, which your doctor may prescribe for you. However, anticholinergics have been linked to side effects such as confusion, dry mouth, and blurred vision, particularly in elderly patients. It is more likely that they will cause problems with urination in older men.
If you or your senior adult have been taking any of these medications, consult a geriatrician, or you may drop by our drugstore. Do not discontinue any medication without first consulting with your healthcare provider.
Geriatricians, also known as geriatric doctors, have the most experience in treating elderly patients and are more knowledgeable about the medications that seniors typically use.
Additionally, it is likely that they are familiar with the Beers list and have a better understanding of which medications work well for seniors, which do not work well for seniors, and which combinations of medications could potentially cause problems.
However, general and family practitioners typically see a greater number of younger patients than older patients.
Therefore, they may have never been prescribed particular medications for conditions common in people of advanced age.
This lack of experience with the effects of medication on older bodies can be a problem if your older adult experiences a problem as a result of a drug side effect or interaction.
When prescribing medication for an older adult, medical professionals should use the Beers list as a reference. Still, they shouldn’t base their decisions solely on the information contained in the list. This is an essential point to keep in mind.
This is because the Beers list cannot accommodate all possible scenarios or specific health conditions for every single person.
Therefore, the act of a physician prescribing a medication included on the Beers list is not considered “wrong.” There could be a valid explanation for this.
Each individual has a unique reaction to a medication, and in certain instances, the medication on the list may be the most appropriate treatment option, given the circumstances.
You may visit Cavalier Pharmacare if you need help or counseling with certain medications for senior adults.
We also provide a wide range of Medical Supplies at a reasonable price to help you and your loved ones improve the quality of your lives.