Page 21 - Senior Scene April 2018
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Alcohol, Medicines, and Aging
(April is Alcohol Awareness Month!)
Dr. Arvind M. Dhople, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Florida Tech
You’ve probably seen warning on medicines about mixing them with alcohol. Doing so can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of coordi- nation. You can be at risk for internal bleeding, heart prob- lems, and dif culty breathing. Alcohol can make a medica- tion less effective or even useless, or it may make it harmful or toxic to your body.
Knowing what’s in your medications – and how they in- teract with alcohol – will help you safe and your medicines working effectively.
Medicines typically are safe and effective when used appropriately, and your pharmacist or other health care pro- vider can help you determine which medications interact harmfully with alcohol. You should also need the label on the medication bottle to  nd out exactly what ingredients a medicine contains.
Some medications, include many that can be purchased without a prescription, contain one or more ingredients that can react with alcohol. In particular, sedative-hypnotic drugs (e.g. sleep aids, anti-anxiety drugs, and drugs that sup-
press arousal) amplify the depressant effects of alcohol, and drinking alcohol while taking these drugs may be especially dangerous. Other medications that can react with alcohol in- clude many popular painkillers and cough, cold, and allergy remedies. Even some herbal remedies can have harmful ef- fects when combined with alcohol. And it is very important to remember – alcohol and medicines can interact harmful even if they are not taken at the same time.
Older adults and women need to be particularly vigilant. Even without medication interactions, alcohol can pose a particular risk for certain groups, including women and older people. Women have a higher risk of alcohol-related prob- lems than men do, because women’s bodies generally have proportionately less water than men’s. This means that when a woman drinks, the alcohol in her bloodstream typically reaches a higher level that a man’s even if both are drinking the same amount.
Because the amount of water in the body declines with age, older people reach higher blood alcohol concentrations after each drink than younger people. Meanwhile as we age we become more sensitive to some of the impairments alco- hol produces. On tests that require quick and accurate re- sponses, older adults are affected more than younger adults after a few drinks. Similarly, balance, concentration, and driving skills are also impaired more in older versus younger adults after a few drinks.
Adding medication to the equation can make the situ- ation even more complicated. Larger impairments in older drinkers could contribute to injuries (especially from falls)
and can make already harmful medication interactions more dangerous. Older people also are more likely to take a med- ication that interacts with alcohol – they often need to take more than one of these medications.
Improper medication use has been rising among older adults. Many older adults take medications that treat health conditions like pain and heart disease. Most take their med- ications properly, but some older adults have problems tak- ing them the way they should. This includes unintentionally
Senior Scene® | April Issue
taking a medication the wrong way, as well as intentionally abuse.
Some people accidently take medicines incorrectly, often without knowing it. They may forget their medicine, take it too often, or take the wrong amount. As people age, trou- ble with vision or memory can make it hard to use medica- tions correctly.
Taking lots of medications at different times of the day can be confusing. Another common problem is having more than one doctor who prescribe medicines, but no single doc- tor who monitors them all and no checks for any interactions. Taking a prescription medication as directly by a doctor is generally safe and effective. But lately there has been a rise in the number of older adults who use medicines improperly, including for non-medical reasons, and suffering the conse- quences. Recent reports show increased hospitalizations and visits to emergency rooms by older people involving improp- er use of prescription as well as illicit drugs.
Intentional abuse is when a person knowingly uses pre- scription medications the wrong way, takes medicines not prescribed for him or her, or combines them with alcohol or illicit drugs. People may do this to feel good, feel better, or clam down.
Sometimes a big change, such as retirement, the death of a loved one, or failing health, can lead to loneliness, bore- dom, anxiety, or depression. That can prompt a person to begin, continue, or increase the abuse of medications or oth- er drugs.
Medication-related hospital admissions for older adults are mostly linked to overdoses from pain medication and withdrawal symptoms from other addictive drugs, such as sleeping pills. SS
High Cholesterol?
The creator of Gatorade® can help.
Gainesville, FL - If you’re one of the millions of Americans that have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, “Natural” help
is now available from the creator of Gatorade®! The highly regarded late Dr. Robert J. Cade, while at the University of Florida, did extensive clinical trials utilizing a special formula he developed containing soluble  ber (Acacia Gum).
This formula, “CholesterAde”, proved to lower cholesterol in the human blood by over 17% during an 8-week period. Not only is this special soluble  ber proven to lower cholesterol naturally but, other positive effects showed weight loss and improved bowel functions, which can help reduce the chances of many forms of cancer.
Dr. Richard Goldfarb, MD, FAGS, the Medical Director for Go Epic Health, Inc. states “CholesterAde is a natural alternative to statins and other drugs that can create many types of health problems.”
For the  rst time Dr. Cade’s original delicious tasting formula, “CholesterAde”, is now available at the retailers below or call 1-877-581-1502 or go to:
www.cholesterade.com
The Medicine Shoppe 2176 Sarno Road Melbourne 321-242-2440
Space Coast Pharmacy 2370 S. Fiske Blvd. Rockledge 321-636-2275
Benzer Pharmacy
(2 locations) Palm Bay Melbourne benzerpharmacy.com
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