“Always take your vitamins!” How frequently have we been told about the need to make certain we meet the daily recommended requirement for the wide range of vitamin and mineral supplements that are meant to keep us healthy and well? What we hear less often, though, is the risk in combining particular medicines with over-the-counter supplements – in particular for older individuals.
With the considerable majority of older adults – 87% – taking a minimum of one prescribed medication, and many taking more than five of them, it’s crucial to become educated on the dangers involved in how they interrelate with vitamins and minerals, and even with particular types of foods. In some instances, mixing medicines can cause a reduced effectiveness of the meds, in addition to a myriad of more serious health concerns.
In an effort to keep seniors safe and well, Live Free Home Health Care shares the following helpful suggestions related to medication and supplement interactions:
- Make a list – and share it. Put together a listing of all the medications your older loved one is taking, including over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or allergy relief products, and any vitamin/mineral supplements. Include details such as dosages, how often each medicine is taken, and at what time of day. Then provide a copy of the list to your senior loved one’s primary care physician and pharmacist to make sure the medication plan is both safe and effective.
- Do your research. A great online program is available, the Drug Interactions Checker, that allows you to type a list of drugs into the program and run a report instantly to ascertain if there are any contraindications. It even lists potential food interaction cautions, such as any concerns with drinking alcohol with a specific medication.
- Be especially attentive during hospitalizations. Frequently, when an older adult is hospitalized, doctors at the hospital will order new medicines on top of those already prescribed. Add these new prescriptions to the senior’s list, run through the Drug Interactions Checker, and share with his or her primary care physician to decrease the chance of problems.
In addition, Live Free Home Health Care’s New Hampshire home care team can help to keep older adults healthy and well in a wide variety of ways. We can transport and accompany seniors to medical appointments and procedures, keep an up-to-date list of medications being taken, pick up prescription medications, provide medication reminders, prepare nourishing meals, and so much more. Contact us at 603-217-0149 to begin improving the wellbeing of your senior loved one.