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Ask the Pharmacist

Are My Mother's Meds Making Her Fall?

And if so, which drug — or combination — is at fault?

My recommendation would be for you or your mother to consult with her doctor and ask about treating her cardiovascular problems with a benzothiazepine calcium channel blocker rather than a beta-blocker. This drug works just as well or better than a beta-blocker, is easily metabolized and does not cause insomnia, thereby ending your mother's need for a sleep aid.

If your mother still needs relief from aches and pain to sleep, she can take regular Tylenol or any other form of plain acetaminophen.

"Ask the Pharmacist" is written by Armon B. Neel Jr., PharmD., CGP, in collaboration with journalist Bill Hogan. They are co-authors of Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?, to be published next year by Atria Books.

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