Consumer Reports has published a valuable article identifying common prescription drugs that can be dangerous for older patients. Healthcare consumers over age 65 are more than twice as likely to suffer from adverse drug reactions; the publication lists the following drugs as posing a high enough risk that they should be avoided if possible:
- Antianxiety drugs
- High blood pressure and enlarged prostate drugs
- Pain relievers
- Sleeping pills
- Stomach drugs
Chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Limbitrol); diazepam (Valium); quazepam (Doral)
Recommended alternatives: alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and oxazepam (Serax)
Recommended alternatives: Diuretics for high blood pressure; tamsulosin (Flomax) for enlarged prostate.
Recommended alternatives: acetaminophen (Tylenol); ibuprofen (Advil ); capsaicin cream (Zostrix); morphine
Barbituates (Butisol, Nembutal, Seconal); diphenhydramine (Sominex); flurazepam (Dalmane)
Recommended alternatives: zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien)
Bisacodyl (Dulcolax); Diphenoxylate (Lomotil)
Recommended alternatives: Increased intake of fiber and fluids; change in diet; loperamide (Imodium AD)
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