“Aging”- Syndromes:

Blaming age when it could be medication

Yes, it’s true, every day we become a day older. The years go by, and you cannot fathom where the time has gone. Exercise, healthy lifestyle, socializing, and learning something new help with the way one feels as they age. Keeping your health and medications in check can also help to not feel old.

Deprescribing medications that can cause us to “feel old”, with the help of a health care professional, may be most helpful. Below are different ailments that are often blamed on age. Listed with each ailment are types of medications that can cause side effects that mimic these ailments. Medications with similar side effects can have an additive effect. If you take medications that can cause the same condition, you may be more likely to experience the side effect. 

If you do have a certain condition that you like to blame on age, check to see if any of your medications could cause you to feel this way. Deprescribing, the stopping, reducing, or changing of a medication may help in reducing these side effects without compromising your necessary treatments. 

The information below is not an exhaustive list but do notice the many different types of medications listed. Keep the conversation going with your health care team to optimize your needed medications and deprescribe those that are unnecessary or causing other “conditions”.

Delirium, Dementia, Cognitive deficit: Meds for overactive bladder, Antidepressants, Allergy medications, Antipsychotics, Medications for stomach spasms, Muscle relaxants, Benzodiazepines (ex: lorazepam and alprazolam) and medications used for anxiety and insomnia, Corticosteroids

Falls: Medications used for seizures, High blood pressure medications, Antipsychotics, Benzodiazepines (ex: lorazepam and alprazolam) and other medications used for anxiety and insomnia including Tricyclic Antidepressants (ex: amitriptyline), and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) (ex: paroxetine, citalopram, and sertraline), Muscle relaxants 

Overactive Bladder: Medications used for Alzheimer’s, Diuretics (“water-pills”)

Dizziness and Drop in blood pressure: Medications for overactive bladder, high blood pressure, diabetes (such as glyburide and glipizide); Antidepressants, Allergy medications, Antipsychotic, Opioids, Medications for insomnia

Weight Loss: Medications for bones density, NSAIDs (ex: ibuprofen and naproxen)PotassiumBlood pressure medsAntibioticsAllergy meds, Medications for seizuresDigoxin, Benzodiazepines, Metformin, Opioids, Antidepressants

Constipation: Medications that can cause drying effect such as allergy medications and medications for overactive bladder (check out my blog Anticholinergics: Dry Effects and Fall Risk), Iron, Opioids, Calcium Channel blockers (ex: verapamil and diltiazem)

Keep reading my blog each week to learn more about deprescribing. Use the templates available to start the conversation with your health care team.