August 3, 2011

August 3, 2011
9 Types of Medication to Avoid Continue

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through the middle of another work week. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Yesterday, I started a blog series called 9 Types of Medication You Should Use With Caution which I will conclude today.

2. Muscle relaxants

Be cautious of: cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), methocarbamol (Robaxin), carisoprodol (Soma) and similar medications.

The concern: These medications can leave you feeling groggy and confused, increase your risk of falls, and cause constipation, dry mouth and urination problems. Plus, there's little evidence that they work very well.

3. Anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia drugs

Be cautious of: benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax) or chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Limbitrol, Librax) as well as sleeping pills, such as zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien).

The concern: In older adults especially, these medications can increase your risk of falls, as well as cause confusion. Because it takes your body a long time to get these drugs out of your system, you could feel groggy and sleepy for an extended period of time. 4. Anticholinergic Drugs

Be cautious of: medications including the antidepressants amitriptyline (Elavil) and imipramine (Tofranil), the anti-Parkinson drug trihexyphenidyl (Artane), the irritable bowel syndrome drug dicyclomine (Bentyl) and the overactive bladder drug oxybutynin (Ditropan).

The concern: Anticholinergic drugs can cause confusion, constipation, urination problems, blurry vision and low blood pressure.

5. Heart Medications

Be cautious of: digoxin (Lanoxin) in doses greater than 0.125 mg.

The concern: Use of digoxin, which is prescribed as a treatment for heart failure and irregular heartbeat, can be toxic in older adults and people whose kidneys do not work well.

6. Diabetes Drugs

Be cautious of: glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase) and chlorpropamide (Diabinese).

The concern: They can cause severe low blood sugar in older adults. 7. Narcotic pain relievers

Be cautious of: meperidine (Demerol) and pentazocine (Talwin).

The concern: These types of medications can cause confusion, falls, seizures, confusion and even hallucinations, especially in older adults. 8. Anti-psychotic drugs

Be cautious of: Unless you are being treated for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or some forms of depression, stay away from anti-psychotics such as haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel).

The concern: Anti-psychotic drugs can increase the risk of stroke or even death; they can also cause tremors and increase your risk of falls.

9. Estrogen

Be cautious of: Estrogen pills and patches, which are typically prescribed for hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms.

The concern: Estrogen can increase your risk of breast cancer, blood clots and dementia.

Whenever a doctor prescribes a new medication or makes a change in the dose, ask why.

For instance, if a new medication is being prescribed to ease the side effects of a drug you're already taking, ask if it makes sense to continue taking the drug that is causing the bad reaction.

Also, ask your health care provider or pharmacist to check any new medications in a drug interaction computer database, especially if you're already taking five or more drugs.

Hope this information helps you. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab