Safe Cold Medications for Seniors

Many seniors do not realize the dangers of over-the-counter medications. Most (OTC) medications can interfere with prescription medications. Seniors have a higher risk of suffering serious side effects from prescription and (OTC) medications. The average senior citizen takes five medications every day. The number of medications increases as seniors get older. Before purchasing (OTC) medications, seniors should ask the pharmacist about the risks of drugs interacting. The pharmacist can discuss what medications are safe for arthritis, colds and any other illness.

Safe Cold Medications for Seniors

Use One Pharmacy

Using more than one pharmacy increases the chance of getting the wrong medication. When you use one pharmacy, the pharmacist will be able to type in your name and find all the medications you are taking. If you use more than one pharmacy, the pharmacist may not be aware of your health conditions that can interfere with medications. Your pharmacist can explain how each medication will affect your health if he is aware of any chronic health conditions.

Cold and Congestion

Cold and congestion medications can increase blood pressure. Most medications that raise blood pressure have the information listed on the box. If you have high blood pressure, you should carefully read the drug safety instructions before purchasing the medication. Your pharmacist can also give you a list of medications that will not interfere with blood pressure.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can interfere with medications prescribed for arthritis. People who have recently undergone surgery should not take (NSAIDs) medications.

Acetaminophen and Senior Health

Acetaminophen is generally safe to take with most medications. If you are taking a blood thinning medication, you could increase your risk of bleeding taking acetaminophen medications. Alcoholic drinks can interfere with acetaminophen.

Sleep Medications

Prescription and (OTC) sleep medications can be dangerous for seniors. Sleep medications stay in your body for several hours, and the active ingredient in sleep medications can cause confusion and urinary incontinence.

Some medications need to be taken with food to prevent side effects. If you have difficulty preparing your own meals, you should ask your doctor to create a plan for taking your medications. Instead of food, you can drink milk before taking some medications.