In fact, all medication have side effects, which are more or less serious. However, as we age, the body’s physiology and metabolism change. The risk is then that of being more vulnerable to certain categories of drugs.
Anti-inflammatories for health
Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen… Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are painkillers (or sedatives) widely used by people over 60. Plus, most of them are sold without a prescription. to the drugstore.
However, this category of drugs carries a certain risk of gastric ulcers and digestive bleeding. This risk increases with age. They are also likely toincrease blood pressure.
If possible, you should use other lower risk painkillers such as Paracetamol. This provided you do not exceed the maximum daily dose of three grams.
When your doctor prescribes an NSAID, they will make sure to monitor your blood pressure. Moreover, heIt will be combined with an antacid medication to best protect your digestive tract.
Blood thinners help prevent blood clots from forming. They are therefore prescribed in cases of phlebitis, temporary immobilization due to surgery, for example. Or, in people with heart rhythm disorders.
However, these drugs, especially those containing Warfarin, carry a risk higher bleeding. These risks of hemorrhage become more worrying with age, because the risk of falling – and therefore of bleeding during the shock of the fall – increases. From the age of 65, more than one in three people fall at least once a year.
Your doctor will judge the benefits and risks of prescribing this type of medication based on your individual situation.
Antihypertensives for health
When you are taking blood pressure medication, or anti-hypertensives, your doctor take your blood pressure regularly. He will take it in a seated position as well as in a standing position. It’s not just to make sure they’re effective. It is also to check the possible orthostatic hypotension that these treatments can cause.
This excessive drop in blood pressure while standing increases the risk of falls and fractures, especially after the age of 65.
To treat high blood pressure, the doctor often prescribes diuretics. However, attention must be paid to the risk of potassium loss, also called hypokalemia.
So-called thiazide diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide or chlorthalidone) carry less risk. But monitoring the potassium level in the blood, the kalemia, remains essential with these treatments.
hypnotics for health
Hypnotics such as zolpidem, eszopiclone or zaleplon are sometimes prescribed to treat insomnia. The problem is that they increase the risk of cognitive impairment, confusion, falls and fractures after age 60. They are therefore to be limited in time and it is preferable to find alternatives.
There are actuallyother possibilities. In particular, it is necessary to find the cause of insomnia in order to treat it. Thus, apply sleep hygiene measures or undertake cognitive behavioral therapy. It can be very useful against sleep disorders and therefore improve health.