Owners' Blog

Medication Side Effects and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Them

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Elder Care Considerations Milton GA

Medication plays a major role in helping seniors to live longer and continue to be active. As people age they need the benefits of medication to overcome illnesses, diseases, or injuries. The concern with medication is that while used to treat health conditions they can also have side effects. Some side effects can be minor and some can be harmful. Elder care shouldn’t ignore the side effects of medication.

Along with the growing number of older adults goes the growing number of prescriptions for medication. Many people, as they get older, are prescribed more than one kind of medication. This raises the red flag for mix-ups, drug interactions, and side effects. Medication safety concerns are increasing more and more.

There are two types of interactions that can occur when you take medication:

  1. Drug-drug Interactions – This happens when 2 or more medicines have a reaction to each other and cause negative side effects, or make the drug less effective in treating a condition.
  2. Food-drug Interactions – This happens when medicines have a reaction to food or beverages. Certain drugs should not be mixed with foods or certain beverages.

Elderly home care should also be aware that as adults age, the body will react differently to medicines. Changes in the kidneys, liver, heart, and nervous system will make the elderly more at risk for overdose and side effects.

Caregivers who ensure that their loved one is taking the medication at the right time and in the right dosage can prevent side effects. Seniors with poor eyesight may not follow the directions properly or forget to take it at all.

A great way to keep track of how medication is affecting a senior is to keep an updated log pertaining to medical history. List the medications, both prescription and non-prescription, and any herbs or dietary supplements the elder is taking. Record their mental and physical state before and after taking their medications.

Always inform the doctor of any non-prescription medications that are being taken. Take notice of the active ingredients and warnings. Make sure that the elder is not taking another medication with the same ingredient.

Ignoring negative reactions to medications can be disastrous for an elder. Anytime senior experiences side effects from a medication, elder care should contact the doctor or pharmacist. The dosage may need to be adjusted or a different medication substituted.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for elder care in the home, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511