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Are You Taking Drugs You Don’t Need?
List of Inappropriate Drugs
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Digoxin, a medication used to treat heart failure and irregular heartbeats
- Certain diabetes drugs, such as glyburide
- Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine
- Certain medications used for anxiety and/or insomnia such as diazepam and zaleplon
- Certain anticholinergenic drugs such as amitriptyline and oxybutynin
- Meperidine, a pain reliever
- Certain over-the-counter products such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine
- Antipsychotics if you are not being treated for psychosis
- Estrogen pills and patches
Reducing Your Risks for Problems with Medication Use
- Make a list of all your medicines. Update the list anytime your doctor prescribes a new medicine or stops and old one. Always bring the list when you are seeing specialists.
- Read and save all the written information that comes with your medicines.
- Take medicines exactly as your doctor prescribes.
- Do not skip doses or take half doses to save money. If you need help paying for your medicines, talk to your doctor.
- Use a memory aid (such as a calendar, chart, or weekly pill box) to remember to take your medicines on time.
- Avoid mixing alcohol and medicines.
- Take all of the medicine your doctor prescribes unless the doctor says it is okay to stop.
- Do not take medicines prescribed to another person or share your medicines.
- Check the expiration dates on your medicines. Dispose of expired medicines properly.
- Store all medicines safely out of reach of young children.
Talk to Your Doctor
National Council on Aging http://www.ncoa.org
US Administration on Aging—US Department of Health and Human Services http://www.aoa.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
American Geriatrics Society updated Beers Criteria for potentially inappropriate medication use in older patients. American Geriatrics Society website. Available at: http://www.americangeriatrics.org/files/documents/beers/2012BeersCriteria%5FJAGS.pdf. Published 2012. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Medicines: use them safely. National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/medicines-use-them-safely. Updated April 17, 2014. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Ten medications older adults should avoid or use with caution. American Geriatrics Association website. Available at: http://www.americangeriatrics.org/files/documents/beers/FHATipMEDS.pdf. Published April 2012. Accessed October 22, 2014.
11/30/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: US Food and Drug Administration. Propoxyphene: withdrawal—risk of cardiac toxicity. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm234389.htm. Published November 19, 2010. Accessed October 22, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2014
- Update Date: 10/22/2014