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With prescription medications available for nearly every condition, people are able to stay healthy for longer than ever. However, managing these prescriptions, their interactions, and potential side effects can be a challenge, especially for seniors who are likely to be taking multiple medications.
We talked with Ira Glotzer, RPh, owner of Drug Mart in Monsey, NY and a pharmacist with over fifty years of experience, about the most important considerations for seniors when taking any prescription medications.
Mr. Glotzer will be the guest speaker at our senior living community for a seminar on managing medications on February 24, 2016. (More information here.)
Prescription Safety Precautions
“Tell your doctor every medication you are now taking,” Glotzer said. “That’s the most important thing you can do.” Sometimes people forget medications they’re taking, or don’t think to include over the counter medications. Bring a list with you to appointments so that your doctor can identify potential conflicts.
Possible Drug Interactions
Drug interactions can cause serious problems, from diminished effectiveness to illness and pain. One of the most common drug interactions Glotzer warns against for seniors is the interaction between diuretics and ibuprofen. Many seniors take ibuprofen for aches and pain, not realizing that ibuprofen can counter the effects of diuretics prescribed for heart conditions and other issues.
Potential Side Effects
The benefits of prescription medications sometimes come with side effects. Seniors can be especially vulnerable to these side effects and should watch for changes in mood, appetite, weight, and overall well-being when beginning a new prescription or changing dosage.
Understanding Warning Labels
Glotzer recommends reading all warning labels carefully, each time a prescription is filled. Many warnings are clearly safety related, such as not taking medications that can cause drowsiness before driving or operating machinery. Other warnings, however, can significantly impact the effectiveness of the medication. For example, some medications need to be taken with food to be absorbed effectively.
What Expiration Dates Mean
Unlike food, there is no way to tell by sight or smell when a medication is past its prime. Glotzer says that there is no guarantee that medications will be effective past their expiration date. Manufacturers will guarantee effectiveness up to the last day of the month of the expiration date.
Managing Medications: Learn More
Join us for Ira Glotzer’s informative talk on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. Seating is limited! R.S.V.P. to 888-702-6366.
FountainView at College Road is a glatt kosher senior living community in Rockland County, NY.