Jul 23, Prescription drugs heal us when we're sick, ease our pain when we ache, and prevent or control long-term conditions. Many prescription drugs, for example, cause stomach problems like nausea, diarrhea, or constipation because they pass through your digestive system. When your doctor. The primary change that aids in reducing drug side effects is a healthy diet. plenty of water, using Celtic sea salt instead of table salt and exercise regularly. Unwanted side effects can be caused by all kinds of medicines, including Some herbs can act on the body as powerfully as any conventional medicine, and.
Medication of Eliminating Effects Regular
Use of these drugs may cause orthostatic hypotension and an abnormally slow heart rate and may slow brain function. Methyldopa and reserpine may contribute to depression. Reserpine can contribute to erectile dysfunction impotence.
Analgesics some, such as meperidine and pentazocine. Meperidine , an opioid, often causes confusion and can sometimes cause seizures. Like all opioids, it may cause constipation, retention of urine, drowsiness, and confusion. When taken by mouth, meperidine is not very effective. To treat abnormal heart rhythms.
Amiodarone usually should not be a first choice to treat atrial fibrillation an abnormal heart rhythm except in special circumstances. Amiodarone may increase the risk of thyroid disorders, lung disorders, and long QT syndrome which itself can contribute to serious abnormal heart rhythms. Antidepressants older ones, such as amitriptyline , amoxapine , clomipramine , desipramine , doxepin at high doses, imipramine , nortriptyline , paroxetine , protriptyline , and trimipramine.
These older antidepressants have strong anticholinergic effects. To relieve allergy or cold symptoms, or to aid sleep. Many nonprescription over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines have strong anticholinergic effects. These antihistamines can cause drowsiness and confusion, and when used regularly, they can also cause constipation, dry mouth, and difficulty urinating.
Antihistamines are commonly included in cough and cold preparations and in pain relievers for use at bedtime. Antiparkinson drugs benztropine and trihexyphenidyl. To treat Parkinson disease. Benztropine and trihexyphenidyl have strong anticholinergic effects. Antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine , haloperidol , thiothixene , risperidone , olanzapine , quetiapine , and aripiprazole and metoclopramide.
To treat loss of contact with reality psychosis or, somewhat controversially, to treat behavioral disturbances in people with dementia. Sometimes to treat nausea generally chlorpromazine or metoclopramide only. Antipsychotic drugs can cause drowsiness, movement disorders that resemble Parkinson disease , and uncontrollable facial twitches. Some of these drugs also have anticholinergic effects.
Antipsychotic drugs should be used only when a psychotic disorder is present and require that a doctor closely monitors the person. Metoclopramide can cause drowsiness and movement disorders that resemble Parkinson disease. In general, metoclopramide should not be used longer than 3 months. Barbiturates such as amobarbital , butabarbital, butalbital, mephobarbital, pentobarbital , phenobarbital , and secobarbital. To calm, to relieve anxiety , or to aid sleep. People may become dependent on these drugs, the drugs may become ineffective in helping people sleep, and people can overdose by taking even low doses of these drugs.
Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam , chlordiazepoxide , chlordiazepoxide with amitriptyline , clidinium with chlordiazepoxide , clonazepam , clorazepate , diazepam , estazolam , flurazepam , lorazepam , oxazepam , quazepam , temazepam , and triazolam.
These drugs can cause drowsiness and loss of balance when a person is walking. The risk of falls and fractures is increased as is the risk of motor vehicle crashes.
The effects of some of these drugs last a very long time often more than several days in older people. Certain hypnotic drugs such as eszopiclone , zaleplon , and zolpidem.
The side effects of these drugs are similar to those of benzodiazepines. It is best to use these drugs only for short periods of time.
Desmopressin has a high risk of causing hyponatremia low level of sodium in the blood. Desmopressin should not be used for treatment of excessive urination at night because there are safer alternatives. To treat heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms arrhythmias. As people age, the kidneys are less able to remove digoxin from the body. Large doses of the drug can more easily reach harmful toxic levels.
Side effects may include loss of appetite, nausea, and confusion. To reduce the risk of blood clots or to improve blood flow. Dipyridamole frequently causes low blood pressure when standing up in older people. It can also increase the risk of bleeding when it is taken with other drugs that make blood less likely to clot, such as aspirin or the anticoagulant warfarin. To relieve abdominal cramps and pain. Their usefulness—especially at the low doses tolerated by older people—is questionable.
To treat osteoporosis and help relieve menopausal symptoms , such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. Estrogens increase the risk of breast and uterine endometrial cancer and may increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and dementia in older women. Vaginal estrogen products seem to be safe and effective to treat painful intercourse, urinary tract infections, and other vaginal symptoms. Histamine-2 H 2 blockers such as cimetidine , famotidine , nizatidine , and ranitidine. To treat heartburn acid reflux , indigestion , or ulcers.
Typical doses of cimetidine may have drug interactions and cause side effects, especially confusion. To some extent, high doses of famotidine , nizatidine , and ranitidine may cause side effects, especially confusion. Insulin given by a sliding scale. When given this way, insulin can cause dangerously low blood sugar and is not more effective at controlling diabetes than fixed doses of insulin given with meals.
When taken by mouth, mineral oil may be accidentally inhaled into the lungs, which can cause lung damage. Male sex hormones such as testosterone and methyltestosterone. For low testosterone levels called male hypogonadism. These hormones should be used only if a man's testosterone levels are low and causing significant symptoms.
Use of these hormones may contribute to heart disorders and worsen prostate disorders. Megestrol can cause blood clots and possibly increase the risk of death and is typically not very effective in helping people gain weight. Muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol , chlorzoxazone , cyclobenzaprine , metaxalone , methocarbamol , and orphenadrine.
Most muscle relaxants have anticholinergic effects. The usefulness of all muscle relaxants at the low doses necessary to avoid side effects in older people is questionable. The risks likely outweigh the benefits.
To decrease blood pressure. Nifedipine , if taken in immediate-release capsule form, may decrease blood pressure too much, sometimes causing symptoms similar to those of a heart attack for example, chest pressure and chest pain.
To treat bladder infections. With long-term use, nitrofurantoin can cause side effects such as lung damage. When taken to treat a bladder infection, it may not be effective if kidney function is reduced. NSAIDs such as aspirin , diclofenac , diflunisal , etodolac , fenoprofen , ibuprofen , indomethacin , ketoprofen , meclofenamate , mefenamic acid , meloxicam , nabumetone , naproxen , oxaprozin , piroxicam , sulindac , and tolmetin.
To relieve pain and inflammation. Long-term use of NSAIDs may cause peptic ulcer disease, or bleeding from the stomach or intestine unless another drug is also given to protect the stomach. NSAIDs and celecoxib can also worsen kidney function and symptoms of heart failure.
It can also cause confusion or dizziness. Long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors increases the risk of severe diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile infection, bone loss and fractures, and vitamin B12 deficiency. Sulfonylurea drugs long-acting ones, such as chlorpropamide and glyburide. The effects of chlorpropamide and glyburide last a long time. In older people, these drugs can cause low blood sugar levels hypoglycemia for many hours.
Chlorpropamide can also cause the kidneys to retain too much water, lowering the sodium level in the blood. To help prevent strokes. Ticlopidine can cause serious blood disorders. Safer and more effective drugs are available. This product, which is used to prevent strokes in people who have had a stroke, is not included in this list.
Many commonly used drugs have anticholinergic effects. These drugs include some antidepressants amitriptyline and imipramine , many antihistamines such as diphenhydramine , contained in OTC sleep aids, cold remedies, and allergy drugs , and many antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine and clozapine. Older people, particularly those with memory impairment, are particularly susceptible to anticholinergic effects, which include confusion, blurred vision, constipation, dry mouth, and difficulty starting to urinate.
Some anticholinergic effects, such as reduction of tremor as in the treatment of Parkinson disease and reduction of nausea, are desirable, but most are not. Anticholinergic effects are caused by drugs that block the action of acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger neurotransmitter released by a nerve cell to transmit a signal to a neighboring nerve cell or a cell in a muscle or gland. Acetylcholine helps cells talk to each other. Acetylcholine helps with memory, learning, and concentration. It also helps control the functioning of the heart, blood vessels, airways, and urinary and digestive organs. Drugs that block the effects of acetylcholine can disrupt the normal functioning of these organs.
Most of these drugs were not designed to have these unwanted effects. Anticholinergic effects include the following:. However, anticholinergic drugs can also have useful effects, such as helping control tremors, nausea, or overactive bladder. Older people are more likely to experience anticholinergic effects because the amount of acetylcholine in the body decreases with age. Consequently, anticholinergic drugs block a higher percentage of acetylcholine, so that the aging body is less able to use what little acetylcholine is present.
Also, cells in many parts of the body such as the digestive tract have fewer sites where acetylcholine can attach. As a result, doctors usually try to avoid using drugs with anticholinergic effects in older people if possible. A disorder, symptom, or condition other than the one for which the drug is being taken drug—disease interaction. Because older people tend to have more diseases and take more drugs than younger people, they are more likely to have drug—disease and drug—drug interactions.
NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Delirium , dementia , or mild cognitive impairment. Histamine-2 blockers cimetidine , famotidine , nizatidine , ranitidine. Fainting or orthostatic hypotension sudden decrease in blood pressure when a person stands up. Chlorpromazine , donepezil , doxazosin , galantamine , olanzapine , prazosin , some older antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine , rivastigmine , terazosin , thioridazine. Drugs with sedative effects such as antiepileptic drugs, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, eszopiclone , zaleplon , and zolpidem , antidepressants, some antihypertensive drugs when used at high doses, and opioids.
Cilostazol , diltiazem , disopyramide , dronedarone in patients with severe heart failure , NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors, pioglitazone , rosiglitazone , verapamil. Caffeine, oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine , stimulants such as armodafinil , amphetamine , methylphenidate , and modafinil , theophylline , selegiline. Certain antinausea drugs metoclopramide , prochlorperazine , promethazine and most antipsychotics except a few such as quetiapine and clozapine.
Peptic ulcer disease or stomach bleeding. Bupropion , chlorpromazine , clozapine , maprotiline , meperidine , olanzapine , thioridazine , thiothixene , tramadol. Urinary incontinence in women. Doxazosin , estrogens taken by mouth or through the skin not applied directly to the vagina , prazosin , terazosin. Urinary retention or urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate such as slow urinary flow, frequent urination of smaller amounts, and dribbling.
Patients, doctors, and pharmacists can take steps to reduce the risk of drug—disease and drug—drug interactions. Because OTC drugs and medicinal herbs can interact with other drugs, people should ask their doctor or pharmacist about combining the use of these drugs with prescription drugs.
Older age alone does not make people less likely to take drugs as directed. However, up to half of older people do not take drugs as directed. Not taking a drug, taking too little, or taking too much can cause problems. Taking less of a drug because it has side effects may seem reasonable, but people should talk to a doctor before they make any changes in the way they take a drug. Older people and the people who care for them can do many things to maximize the benefits and reduce the risks of taking drugs.
Any questions about or problems with a drug should be discussed with a doctor or pharmacist. Taking drugs as instructed and communicating with health care providers is essential for avoiding problems and promoting good health. Keep a list of all drugs being taken, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, such as vitamins, minerals, and medicinal herbs.
This depends on the AED, how much the person drinks and how they react to alcohol. Drinking alcohol when taking AEDs is a personal choice and the PIL or your specialist will be able to tell you more about drinking alcohol with that medication. AEDs work best when they are taken regularly and at about the same time every day.
For most AEDs it does not matter when in the day you take them — morning or evening — only that you try to stick to the same time every day. If you take them more than once a day it is useful to try to take them evenly spaced out for example, at 8am and 8pm. It is important to take AEDs regularly because this helps to keep the levels in your body 'topped up' to stop seizures from happening.
If you are unsure about when to take your AEDs you could talk to your specialist or pharmacist. The aim of taking AEDs is to make your treatment as simple and convenient as possible so that it fits into your daily routine. Most people will take AEDs for at least several years and sometimes for life. Most AEDs have two names: The generic name refers to the active ingredient in the drug which works to control or treat the condition it is taken for. Some AEDs have more than one generic form, each of which has the same active ingredient, and each can be given its own name.
For some AEDs different forms may use different ingredients, such as binding or colouring agents, which can affect how they are absorbed and used in the body. Swapping between different forms of AED could affect seizure control or cause side effects. For this reason it is often recommended that, once you have found a form of AED to control your seizures, you take the same form of this AED all the time with every prescription whether it is generic or branded.
If a prescription only has the generic name of the drug, a pharmacist can give any form of that drug with that generic name. However, if the prescription has the brand name of the drug the pharmacist must give that brand of AED. It might be a good idea to keep a note of the generic and brand name if it has one for any medication that you take.
This might make it easier to recognise if you have been given a different form of medication. It is often a good idea to check what you have been given before you leave the pharmacy so that, if you have any questions about what you have been given, you can talk to the pharmacist. If you have been given a different form, the pharmacist might be able to change this for you.
Some drugs are made abroad and brought into the UK. They are sometimes labelled in a different language or have different packaging from usual. It may be helpful to get your prescriptions from the same pharmacy each time as most pharmacists keep patient medication records and can help you with questions about prescriptions. The aim of medication is to stop seizures without side effects or impact on behaviour. However, some children may have side effects although these may go away after a few weeks.
Some changes in behaviour could be due to other things, such as:. However, some changes in behaviour are a normal part of growing up and may not be related to their epilepsy. If you are concerned about whether AEDs are affecting your child you could discuss this with their paediatrician. However, for other children it might, for example, due to seizures disrupting their lessons or medication affecting their concentration. Problems with learning could also be due to the cause of the epilepsy or because they are having seizures.
If you are concerned about this you can talk to their paediatrician. This depends on the individual, which AEDs they take and the type of contraception they use. There is a chance that taking AEDs while pregnant may affect a developing baby. If you are thinking of starting a family preconceptual counselling is an opportunity to meet with your neurologist to talk about planning your pregnancy, and reviewing your medication, to keep any risks to a minimum.
This is also an opportunity to ask any questions you have about this. If you take AEDs for your epilepsy you are entitled to free prescriptions for your AEDs and any other prescribed medication you take. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all prescriptions are free for everyone. Skip to main content.
In this section What is epilepsy? Diagnosing epilepsy Epileptic seizures Treatment Medication for epilepsy Anti-epileptic drugs About anti-epileptic drugs How anti-epileptic drugs work List of anti-epileptic drugs Side effects and interactions Yellow card scheme Generic and branded anti-epileptic drugs Questions about anti-epileptic drugs Getting the right medication Brexit contingency plans for epilepsy medication Emergency medication New to epilepsy treatment Managing your treatment Coming off treatment Ketogenic diet Vagus nerve stimulation therapy Epilepsy surgery Deep brain stimulation Care and treatment: Side effects and interactions.
Do AEDs have side effects? Very common means that at least 1 in 10 people will get it. Common means that 1 in to 1 in 10 people will get it. Occasional means that 1 in 1, to 1 in people will get it. Rare means that less than 1 in 1, people will get it.
Very rare means that less than 1 in 10, people will get it.
Side effects and interactions
When is it appropriate to withdraw regular medications? Removing a needed " blood thinner" (anti-coagulent) for a heart patient, would likely cause stroke. It is important to know the benefits of prescribed medications, as well as their Antipsychotic medications can help reduce or, in some cases, eliminate They shouldn't keep you from experiencing the normal ups and downs of life, though. Oct 7, It is important to be aware that more use of medicines and normal body changes Keep track of side effects to help your doctor know how your body is . It is also important to get rid of any expired medicines you may have.