After 60, the signs of aging begin to show, and as our bodies change, so do our demands. Staying healthy well into our later years is possible with good lifestyle choices, but understanding what no longer works for your body is critical to your general health. We spoke with physicians who disclose which medicines and supplements to avoid after 60 and why.
1 — Over-the-Counter Sleeping Aids
Irene Clavijo says, “To begin with, I’d like to emphasize that age 60 is not ancient, so there aren’t many to avoid particularly for that age. Instead of singling out individuals specific to their age, I used the phrase ‘older adults.’ The guidelines usually refer to persons aged 65 and above. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that has both anti-allergenic and anticholinergic effects. When older adults take OTC medicines for sleeplessness, they are more likely to suffer from constipation, confusion, and dry mouth.”
2 — Certain Diabetes Medications
According to Dr. Clavijo, “Long-acting oral diabetes medicines such as glyburide should not be taken by older people.” When this medication is used, there’s an increased danger of severe hypoglycemia. There are other drug classes that are better tolerated by these patients.
3 — NSAIDs
“Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine should be used with caution in older people and only for a short period of time because the increased risk of toxicity in this population,” explains Dr. Clavijo. “In individuals with a history of stomach ulcers, the potential for bleeding is significant. Long-term usage of NSAIDs at high dosages can also harm kidney function and blood pressure.”
4 — Digoxin
“Digoxin is a medication that was previously used to treat cardiovascular failure and cardiac rhythm disturbances. Higher dosages have been found to be toxic in individuals over the age of 60 with renal insufficiency as a result of accumulation of the drug in the circulation. Doses above 0.125 mg per day should be avoided in this group, and new, more effective options should be used,” says Dr. Clavijo.
5 — Calcium
“Calcium should only be consumed from food to reduce the risk of kidney stones and other ailments,” according on Dr. Ormond. “Calcium supplements might also induce an imbalance in calcium levels, resulting in calcification in blood vessels.”