“Don’t forget to take your vitamins!” How frequently have we been made aware of the need to meet the daily recommended requirements for the vitamin and mineral supplements that are meant to keep us healthier? What we don’t hear as frequently is the hazard in combining certain medicines with OTC supplements – especially for seniors.
With the vast majority of elderly – 87% – taking at the very least one prescribed medication, and many taking multiple different types, it’s vital to be aware of the risks involved in how they interrelate with vitamins and minerals, and even with particular types of foods. In some situations, mixing drugs can lead to a decreased effectiveness of the meds, in addition to a plethora of more serious health concerns.
Because our goal is to keep older adults safe and healthy, Compassionate Nursing Services shares the helpful tips below related to medication and supplement interactions:
- Make a list – and share it. Prepare a list of all the medicines your senior loved one is taking, including over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol or allergy relief products, and vitamin/mineral supplements. Include 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 physician and pharmacist to confirm the medication plan is both safe and effective.
- Do your homework. A helpful online program is available, the Drug Interactions Checker, that allows you to enter a list of drugs into the program and run a report to determine if there are any contraindications. It even lists possible food interaction cautions, such as any concerns about drinking alcohol with a certain medication.
- Be extremely vigilant during hospital stays. Many times, when an older adult is hospitalized, doctors at the hospital will order new medications on top of those already prescribed. Add these new medicines to the older person’s list, run through the Drug Interactions Checker, and share with his or her primary care physician to lessen the possibility of problems.
In addition, Compassionate Nursing Services’ St. Louis home healthcare team can help keep older adults safe and well in a variety of ways. We can provide transportation and accompaniment for seniors to medical appointments and procedures, keep a current list of medicines being taken, pick up prescriptions, provide medication reminders, prepare wholesome meals, and so much more. Contact us at 314-432-4312 to get started on improving wellbeing for your senior loved one.