Taking a medication that's not safe for your age
Medication Mistakes: Page 10
As we age, our bodies process medications differently. Also, aging brings with it an increased risk of many problems such as dementia, dizziness and falling, and high blood pressure, so drugs that can cause these side effects are much riskier for people over the age of 65.
Since the early 1990s, a research team led by Mark Beers, M.D., has compiled criteria for medications that should no longer be considered safe for those over 65. This list of Inappropriate Medications for the Elderly, known informally as the "Beers List," is a great resource if you or someone you're caring for is over 65.
How to avoid it: Take the Beers List to your doctor and ask her to check it against all medications prescribed. Sadly, a recent Beers survey found that among those over 65, more than 16 percent had recently filled prescriptions for two or more drugs on the Beers list, suggesting that many doctors are still uninformed about the risks of these drugs. If you discover that you or a family member over 65 is taking medications that are considered risky, you may need to be proactive and ask the doctor to find alternatives.