Prescription medications can be wonderful things. They can lower blood pressure, make breathing easier, make memory sharper, and do a ton of other things. Unfortunately, a large number of seniors are taking too many prescription medications these days. It can be difficult if you are taking too many medications. The drugs that you are taking may have serious interactions with one another.
The National Health and Nutrition Survey found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the number of 40 – 64 years olds that were taking more than five prescription medications increased by 15 percent and the number of adults over the age of 65 taking more than five prescription medications increased by 39 percent. Another thing to consider is that seniors are much more prone to experiencing side effects than other adults.
Because of this, many physicians are now recommending that patients de-prescribe from some of their medications. The biggest thing you need to think about when you de-prescribe is that you need to monitor any reactions you have with your doctor. Here are a few other tips:
1. De-prescribe from one drug at a time. In order to see how each drug is affecting you and which drugs you can successfully get off of, you need to stop one drug at a time. Once you stop a drug, give yourself enough time to see how your body will react. Talk to your physician(s) about what an appropriate amount of time will be for each drug.
2. Consider lowering doses on drugs you don’t want to stop taking. If you don’t want to stop a drug altogether, but you want to decrease side effects, consider lowering the dosage. Monitor this with your doctor(s) as well.
3. Adjust the time of day you take certain medications. If some of your medications are interacting, you may want to try taking them at different times of the day.
4. Communicate with all of your doctors. If you see multiple doctors for multiple conditions, make sure you continue to update all of them on your progress so that they all know which drugs you are taking.
There are also lifestyle changes and alternative therapies that may help you to get off medications. Making positive changes to your diet and exercise routine can often work wonders.