6 Potentially Dangerous Medications for the Elderly

When we get older, our bodies change, and so does the body’s response to medicine. It’s a basic biological fact, however it tends to get overlooked, as old age is constantly deemed as something that is generally all right to be put away, as if part of an entire retirement package.

But the thing is, again operating on a basic viewpoint, old age is similar to the stages of feeble infancy. There are medicines that you should not be using on infants, and this goes as well with the elderly. With the latter however, over the counter medication and prescription medication is easier and is a formed habit that may be harder to break. People also just generally assume that the medicine they took when they were fifty has the same effect on their ills when they are in their, say, early seventies. A seventy year old body does not respond to medicine as a forty year old would.

The dangerous reactions that stem from this kind of ignorance could be easily remedied, however, by awareness. In 1991, a team of experts put together a list of potentially dangerous medications for the elderly, and it is always being updated, and now contains at least 48 risky medication for the seniors. Named after the head doctor of aforementioned medical expert team, the list was named the Beer’s List, after its founder. It is an extensive list of medications, but here are the most common:


Valium (Diazepam)

A sedative used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It contains chemicals that compose fat soluble and ends up becoming stored in body fat, where upon its release into the bloodstream slows and dulls and prolongs this effect. It also increases the chance and risk of falling, confusion, and broken bones.


Libirium (chlordiazepoxide)

It covers the same risks as Valium; it is used as an alternative to Valium at times, and is involved with many inappropriate prescriptions for the elderly. It also chemically urges your body to become dependent on it.


Darvon (Propoxphene)

This is an analgesic often prescribed to older people for their attraction to quick medication fixes. But in fact it does very little in regards to relieving pain, and can affect the heart and the central nervous system to adverse effects.


Elavil (Amitriptyline)

An antidepressant, also causes severe low blood pressure on the elderly, especially after extended periods of time in a single solitary position, be it standing or sitting or walking or doing another regular habit.


Using these sedatives in the long term, can cause one to be victim to falls, broken bones, confusion, and dependence on older patients. Again this plays in with how sedatives, consumed by an elderly for example, will remain quite dangerously sedated for a longer time than when patient had been younger.

Tricyclic Antidepressants

These kinds of drugs aggravate various types of glaucoma, halt the flow of urine in men by enlarged prostate glands, and worsen heart disease. Ironic, in how it was manufactured to be against depressants, but in itself, it ends up depressing its clients that need it most.

Author Bio: Marc works at All Time Medical, an online source of high quality wheelchairs, walkers and rollators. Watch out for more of his guest posts on various health and wellness.

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