Growing Old: 10 Medications You Should Expect to Take When You Get Older
Guest Post By : Annie Davis
Growing old and worrying about whether you’ve taken your medication in the morning is a part of life for most people. Although there are literally hundreds of different medications for the endless amount of conditions and diseases people get as they age, there are few that are more common than others. Here are 10 medications common among the elderly, and you should expect to take at least one of them as you enter your golden years in life.
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Also known as Paraxetine Hydrocloride, Paxil is one of the most popular medications purchased on the Canadian Pharmacy Online website. It’s an antidepressant medication people use to treat a range of conditions including obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, major depression, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. This medication also helps prevent suicidal thoughts and provides other important benefits.
When taking Paxil, older adults are more susceptible to the side effects. These may include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, weakness, loss of appetite, sweating, dry mouth, and yawning. If any of these side effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
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Like Paxil, Lexapro is also an antidepressant medication. This medication, of the selective reuptake inhibitor class, is used to treat major depressive disorders and generalized anxiety disorders. It works by restoring the balance of substances (neurotransmitters like serotonin) in the brain. As a result, it increases energy levels and decreases nervousness.
If you experience nausea, dry mouth, constipation, tiredness, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or increased sweating while taking Lexapro, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately. Since untreated depression can lead to a serious condition, don’t stop using this medication unless instructed by your health physician.
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Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid and is often used in combination with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. It’s used to treat moderate to severe pain in the body and as an antitussive to treat coughs. Additionally, it’s about one and a half times less potent than oxycodone and lasts for about four to eight hours after taken orally.
Common side effects associated with hydrocodone include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, constipation, drowsiness, fuzzy thinking, anxiety, and itching. Serious side effects include chest tightness and slow or irregular breathing. If you notice these effects, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
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Also known as Alprazolam, Xanax belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines that act on the central nervous system to produce a calming effect. As a result, it’s used to treat panic and anxiety disorders and works by enhancing the effects of the natural chemical GABA in the body. Additionally, it’s used to treat nausea experienced by chemotherapy patients.
The only common side effect is sleepiness, but other side effects like disinhibition, change in libido, hallucinations, and urinary retention are rare and infrequent. Although unusual, other paradoxical reactions have occurred, such as aggression, rage, and twitches. Contact a doctor or healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these effects.
This medication is used similarly to codeine and treats moderate to severe pain. Although it’s been also used to treat depression, anxiety, and phobias, healthcare professionals haven’t endorsed its use for these specific disorders. They claim that you can use it as a unique treatment, but that it should be under the control of a psychiatrist.
Classified as a central nervous system drug and marketed as the hydrochloride salt, Tramadol comes in many forms including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. It’s regularly used in topical gels, creams, and solutions for nerve pain. The most common side effects associated with it include nausea, sweating, vomiting, constipation, and itching.
People use Vicodin to treat moderate to severe pain, as it contains hydrocodone (a narcotic pain reliever) and acetaminophen (a non-narcotic pain reliever). While the acetaminophen works to reduce fevers, the Hydrocodone works in the brain to manipulate how your body feels and responds to pain.
Common side effects include nausea, constipation, vomiting, and dry mouth. If you experience any of these for a prolonged time or if your conditions worsen, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
Lyrica treats pain caused by nerve damage from diabetes and treats pain caused by shingles from the chickenpox virus. Additionally, it’s used to treat moderate to severe nerve pain caused by spinal cord injury and people with fibromyalgia. In most cases, physicians will start patients off on a low dose of Lyrica and increase it gradually as needed.
If your doctor has prescribed this medication to you, he or she has concluded that the benefit to you is greater than the side effect risks. With that said, this medication doesn’t have serious side effects and may only include drowsiness, constipation, and weight gain.
Oxycodone is very successful in treating moderate to severe pain caused by an endless amount of conditions and diseases. It belongs to the narcotic analgesic class of drugs, and works in the brain to manipulate how your body feels and responds to pain.
Common side effects include fatigue, constipation, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, itching, anxiety, and sweating. Oxycodone is also highly addictive, so using extreme caution when taking is especially recommended. Remember to consult your physician if you experience any side effects or feel like you’ve developed a dependency problem.
This medication treats hypertension, heart attacks, and congestive heart failure. It also helps prevent retinal and renal complications of diabetes. Although it’s considered an ACE inhibitor, it’s not metabolized by the liver.
If you experience chills, dark urine, difficulty swallowing, yellowing of skin or eyes, fever, fainting or blacking out, or impotence, consult your doctor or healthcare provider right away.
Also known as Duloxetine, this medication treats depression and anxiety. Additionally, Cymbalta helps relieve nerve pain in people with diabetes or ongoing pain caused by conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic back pain. Cymbalta is known to improve moods, sleep patterns, appetite, and energy levels while decreasing the likelihood of nervousness.
While this medication works by helping restore serotonin and norepinephrine to the brain, it does come with side effects. If you experience increased sweating or loss of appetite, consult your doctor.
There’s hundreds of different medications out there. Remember to research which ones are best for you before you start taking them.