Senior citizens may need more medications than their younger counterparts, but mixing them all up may lead to health problems whether the patient is independent or residing in an active living facility, according to one pharmacist.
"To protect themselves from the harm of drug interactions make sure that anyon
e who is advising someone to take medications is fully aware of all medicines that person is taking and that includes prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements," says pharmacist Tami Remington.
Although combining over-the-counter treatments or supplements with prescription medications generally does not cause major problems, some prescriptions such as the blood thinner Warfarin have major negative interactions
Those looking to reduce such effects may be able to limit them by filling prescriptions and buying OTC agents from the same pharmacy, Remington says, so that a pharmacist can check for drug interactions more easily.
Other medications that may be of concern that are in common use by seniors include common decongestants, which she says can raise blood pressure and counteract some effects of anti-hypertensive medications, as well as prescription sleep aids that may have a deleterious consequences on memory decline.