Medication health tips for seniors

Understanding the prescription and non-prescription drugs you take is important at any age. As we get older, our bodies may react differently to certain medicines. So, it’s especially important for seniors to effectively manage their medications and make it part of an ongoing daily routine.

Drug Management for Aging Adults

More than two-thirds of seniors have two or more chronic conditions that require medication. In fact, nearly one-third of American adults take five or more medications on a regular basis.1

 

Statistics also show that many people don’t take their medications with the proper dosage or frequency, which could lead to serious health risks. Plus, certain medicines can be harmful when combined, so it’s important to read labels carefully.

 

Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to help ensure you take your medications correctly:

 

  • Know your medication names and conditions they treat
  • Understand proper dosages, timing and frequency
  • Be aware of any food and drink requirements
  • Make sure to ask about potential side effects 
 
  1. “Medication Safety Basics,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 14, 2012, http://www.cdc.gov/MedicationSafety/basics.html.

Take Your Meds the Right Way

One of the most common mistakes when taking several medications is negatively combining certain drugs. To reduce your risk, make sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have before starting any new prescription or non-prescription drugs.

 

Signs of medication-related problems may include:

 

  • Agitation, confusion or other mood changes
  • Feeling tired, sluggish or trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness, difficulty walking or falls
  • Reduced appetite or not eating
 
Combining medications isn’t the only challenge—pharmacy prescriptions go unfilled approximately 20-30% of the time. Not taking medications at all is as risky as taking them the wrong way.

Knowledge is the Best Medicine

When it comes to keeping up with medicines, cost can also be an issue. Always ask your doctor about generic drug options or discounts to help make prescriptions more affordable.

 

Another effective way to manage medications is by using a mail-order pharmacy. It’s easy to set up, order refills—plus you’ll receive your medications at your convenience and in your mailbox.

 

As with all drugs, remember to always follow all instructions. Your doctor and pharmacist provide this information so that your medications work at their optimal levels and to help avoid any adverse effects. 

You belong at CenterWell

Need more information? Let us help.

Formerly known as Partners in Primary Care and Family Physicians Group, our new name CenterWell reflects our passion for improving the lives of seniors.  Our team is here and ready to help answer any questions you may have.