When it comes to looking at the lists of the most common medications prescribed to seniors, there are two routes. There are lists showing top brand name prescriptions. Those numbers tend to be lower, however, than the generic prescription medications. We’re using the generic prescription lists published by Drs. Allen and Harold Rubin in 2014.
Seniors may never experience troublesome side effects, but others may find their moods and physical abilities are impacted. Here are the common generic prescriptions and information on what can happen after the elderly take them.
Amlodipine is an oral calcium channel blocker that helps lower blood pressure, which can help with angina and heart disease. Most seniors who are prescribed amlodipine take it to treat high blood pressure. It works by making sure the artery walls are relaxed.
People who take amlodipine may feel dizzy or extremely tired. This makes it hazardous to drive until a person is used to how the drug affects them. A change in heart rate can happen. Swelling in the ankles, feet, and hands is also common.
Most people know Lipitor, which is the brand name for atorvastatin. This medication reduces bad cholesterol levels to help prevent heart attack and stroke.
One needs to be careful when taking atorvastatin. It can affect the liver, so it’s advisable to see a doctor regularly to have liver function tested. Kidney issues such as swelling in the feet and ankles and urination problems can also occur.
Levothyroxine is the generic name for this medication that helps with low thyroid hormone levels. Thyroid hormones help with energy and metabolism. The medication is also used to prevent goiters. When a senior takes it, they should be cautious using antacids like Rolaids or Tums.
Some side effects require a call to the doctor. They include chest pain, increased heart rate, and fever. The less serious side effects are agitation, hair loss, headaches, muscle cramps, and nervousness.
Lisinopril is another medication used to treat high blood pressure. It also helps with congestive heart failure. Common side effects include chest pain, dizziness, and a headache. It can cause liver and kidney issues, too, so patients should stay in touch with their doctor.
Hydrocodone should be a last resort, but it is often prescribed to seniors for severe pain. It’s easy to get addicted to opiate-based pain medications. Patients taking hydrocodone should do so for as short a time as possible. Side effects include constipation, dizziness, lethargy, and swelling in the feet and hands.
It’s best to have a caregiver around when taking a new medication. If a senior citizen does deal with unusual side effects, it’s helpful to have someone there to help them with activities of daily living.
If you or an aging loved one needs home care in Lincoln, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.