T I P S H E E T
Expert information from Healthcare Professionals Who Specialize in the Care of Older Adults
Ten Medications Older Adults Should Avoid
or Use with Caution
Because older adults often experience chronic health conditions that
require treatment with multiple medications, there is a greater likelihood
of experiencing unwanted drug side effects. Older people can also be
more sensitive to certain medications. To help you make better informed
or pharmacist. Do not stop taking any medication
decisions about your medications, and to lower your chances of overmedi- without first talking to
cation and serious drug reactions, the American Geriatrics Society Foun-
dation for Health in Aging recommends that older people be cautious
about using the following types of medications, including some that can be purchased without a prescription (over-the-counter). n
USE WITH CAUTION
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
n AVOID long-acting NSAIDs
like indomethacin (Indocin) and piroxicam (Feldene).
n Shorter-acting NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and salsalate (Disalcid) are
n If you take NSAIDs regularly, and have a history of ulcers or are 75 years of
age or older, you may need to protect your stomach against bleeding with a prescription medication such as misoprostol (Cytotec) or a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole (Prilosec).
n Because of the increased risk of bleeding, don’t use NSAIDs together with aspirin,
clopidogrel (Plavix), dabigatran (Pradaxa), dipyridamole (Persantine), prasugrel (Effient), ticlopidine (Ticlid), or warfarin (Coumadin).
AVOID digoxin (Lanoxin)
in doses greater than 0.125 mg.
n Digoxin is used to treat heart failure and irregular heartbeats.
AVOID Certain Diabetes Drugs
These can cause severe low blood sugar.
n Glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase) and chlorpropamide (Diabinese)
AVOID Muscle Relaxants
n Such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), methocarbamol
(Robaxin), and carisoprodol (Soma), and similar medications.
problems urinating. Plus, there is little
AVOID Certain Medications used for Anxiety
They can increase your risk of falls, as
well as cause confusion. Because it takes
your body a long time to get rid of these
n Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium),
alprazolam (Xanax), or chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
n Sleeping pills such as zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien)
AVOID Certain Anticholinergic Drugs
n Antidepressants amitriptyline (Elavil) and imipramine (Tofranil)
n Anti-Parkinson drug trihexyphenidyl (Artane)
n Irritable bowel syndrome drug dicyclomine (Bentyl)
n Overactive bladder drug oxybutynin (Ditropan)
AVOID the Pain Reliever meperidine (Demerol)
It can increase the risk of seizures and
AVOID Certain Over-the-Counter Products
n AVOID products that contain the antihistamines diphenhydramine
without a prescription, they are not risk
(Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (AllerChlor, Chlor-Trimeton)
(particularly in men with an enlarged prostate).
vision, constipation, problems urinating,
n AVOID over-the-counter sleep products, like Tylenol PM, which
If you are NOT being treated for psychosis, AVOID
and other side effects, as well as increase
n Such as haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), or quetiapine
AVOID Estrogen pills and patches
n Typically prescribed for hot flashes and other menopause-related
FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH IN AGING www.healthinaging.org
Drug Name Drug Category 90 Day Supply Drug Name Drug Category 90 Day Supply Alendronate Sodium Tab 35 MG Women's HealthAlendronate Sodium Tab 70 MG Women's HealthAmlodipine Besylate Tab 10 MG Heart Health / Blood Diphenhydramine HCl Cap 25 MG Allergy, Cough and ColdDiphenhydramine HCl Cap 50 MG Allergy, Cough and ColdBisoprolol and Hydrochlorothiazide Heart Health / Blood D
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