Written by: Aaron Hall | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: February 24th, 2020
Not all medications are created equally. Some medications have such terrible side effects that they can do more harm to your body than good. However, depending on developing medical conditions, you might have to start taking some of these medications. Carefully consult with your physician on your options. For now, here is a list of the most prominent medications that you need to be wary of, according to our research.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
These long-lasting medications can be risky because while they decrease inflammation, they can also increase indigestion, ulcers, stomach bleeding, or colon bleeding. It's safer to take shorter-lasting medications like ibuprofen and salsalate. Ibuprofen, in particular, is considered very safe and can be found at any over-the-counter drug store.
If you take these medications regularly and you're over age 75, you'll have to take additional medications such as Cytotec or Prilosec to protect against stomach bleeding.
These medications can make you feel hazy or confused and could make you susceptible to falls.
Anti-Anxiety or Anti-Insomnia Drugs
These medications could also increase your risk of falls and confusion. They will help decrease anxiety or help you sleep, but these drugs can take a while for your body to process and use, so the side effects can last for a while as well.
These medications are supposed to help with Parkinson's disease but can cause constipation, confusion, low blood pressure, blurry vision, dry mouth, and problems urinating.
These medications are typically used for heart failure or irregular heartbeats, but if you take a dose higher than 0.125 milligrams a day, it increases in toxicity and gives you little medical benefit. Especially be wary if you have moderate to severe kidney problems.
These medications are used for those who suffer from diabetes, but can lead to dangerously low blood sugar.
It's recommended that unless you're being treated for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or various forms of depression, stay away from the above medications. These medications are commonly used to treat adults with dementia but can increase the risk of stroke or even death. Tremors are also a possibility.
- Estrogen pills or patches
These are usually used to treat hot flashes or other symptoms relating to menopause, but can increase your risk of breast cancer, blood clots, or dementia. If your doctor prescribes this medication or changes your dose, don't hesitate to ask why.
Opioid Pain Relievers
These medications (also known as narcotic analgesics) can cause confusion, falls, seizures, and even hallucinations.
Before All Else, Consult Your Doctor
This should be obvious. Always, always, always be completely honest and upfront with your doctor about the health problems you've been dealing with. Your doctor will be able to help you more accurately if you're completely upfront with him or her. It might be embarrassing or uncomfortable to address some things, but it's not worth prolonging unfavorable health conditions for the price of your pride. Just be honest.
Also, talk to your doctor about the list of medications that you take. As you take a variety of medications, compounds in the different medications might mix to create more harm for your body than good. Write down a physical list of these medications and take it to your doctor on your next visit. If you have reservations about taking a certain medication, ask your doctor if there is another option. Also, consider visiting another doctor to get a second opinion.
If you've been prescribed any medications that can cause dizziness or make you more prone to falling, consider getting a medical alert system. Some of these systems can cost as low as $30 per month and make emergency medical assistance available with the push of a button. These devices are also useful in the event of a fire or break-in, which will give an added sense of security.
Other Daily Health Tips
- Take a daily multivitamin
- Eat one to two servings of fruit
- Eat one to two servings of vegetables
- Engage in low-intensity exercise
Do what you can in every other way to take care of your body. Your daily multivitamin will carry the necessary vitamins and minerals that will help strengthen your body. Fruits and vegetables are also loaded with the same vitamins and minerals your body needs, such as vitamin C, B12, calcium, and protein. If you're not doing so already, make it a habit to take each of these every day.
Low-intensity exercise is also a great way to take care of your physical health. Activities like walking, swimming, yoga, tai chi, or resistance band training are recommended ways to exercise without pushing yourself too far and can have other health benefits such as reducing the risk of high blood pressure. Again, always consult with your doctor to get medication information and healthy living tips designed specifically for you.