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9 Types of Medication Older Adults Should Use With Caution

If you're over 65, think twice before taking these drugs

En español | As you grow older, you're more likely to develop long-term health conditions that require taking multiple medications. You're also more sensitive to many common medications, including over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

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As a result, it's not uncommon for older adults to be overmedicated and to experience adverse reactions to the ever-lengthening list of medications they take.

To lower the chances of overmedication and dangerous drug reactions, the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging recommends that people age 65 and over be cautious about using the following types of drugs:

Important: If you are taking any of these medications, talk to your doctor or health care provider before stopping their use.

1. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Be cautious of: long-lasting NSAIDS such as piroxicam (sold under the brand-name Feldene) and indomethacin (Indocin).

The concern: NSAIDs are used to reduce pain and inflammation, but in older adults these medications can increase the risk of indigestion, ulcers and bleeding in the stomach or colon; they can also increase blood pressure, affect your kidneys and make heart failure worse. If NSAIDS are needed, better choices include the shorter-acting ibuprofen (Motrin) and salsalate (Disalcid).

Because of the increased risk of bleeding, don't use NSAIDs together with aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), dabigatran (Pradaxa), dipyridamole (Persantine), prasugrel (Effient), ticlopidine (Ticlid) or warfarin (Coumadin).

If you take NSAIDs regularly and have a history of ulcers, or are 75 years of age or older, you may need to protect your stomach against bleeding with a prescription medication such as misoprostol (Cytotec) or a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole (Prilosec).

Next: Sleep aids, antidepressants and muscle relaxants. »

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