We all know that our body changes dramatically as we age. We react differently to foods, illnesses, etc. So, it comes as no surprise that the way our body breaks down and reacts to different medications can change as well.
The changes our bodies go through can affect the way our medications are absorbed, leading to potential complications. For example, the liver and kidneys may not work as well, which affects how a drug breaks down and leaves your body.
It is important to be aware that increased use of medicines and normal body changes caused by aging can increase the chance of unwanted or maybe even harmful drug interactions. And if you’re caring for older loved ones, you should be aware of how to help them stay safe as well.
Here are a few medication tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that can help keep your aging loved one safe:
- Take medication as prescribed. Always follow your doctor’s directions about taking medications. There are typically important reasons to take a medication at a specific dose and time of day.
- Keep a medication list. A current list, including the times and reasons you take each one, will help your health care team to adjust your medications and identify potential interactions. Don’t forget to include any over-the-counter drugs, herbal medications, and supplements.
- Understand the storage instructions and follow them- because of moisture and heat, it is sometimes best not to store medicines in the bathroom.
- Be aware of potential interactions. Try this free online drug interaction checker for any concerns.
- Review medications with your health care provider.
The more you know about your medicines and the more you talk with your doctors and health care professionals, the easier it is to avoid problems with medicines.