Never Take This After Age 60, Say Experts
After 60, signs of aging start showing and as our bodies change so do our needs. With positive lifestyle choices, staying healthy well into our later years is achievable, but knowing what no longer works for your body is vital to your overall health. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who reveal which medications and supplements to avoid after 60 and why. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids
Irene Clavijo, Lead Pharmacist for Conviva Care Centers says, "Something I want to point out is that age 60 is not that old so there aren't that many to avoid specifically for that age. Instead, I used "older adults" to be more general. The guidelines usually refer to 65 & older. Medications sold over the counter (OTC) for insomnia typically include diphenhydramine. This is an antihistamine that although works great for acute allergic reactions, is also highly anticholinergic. Older adults may see an increased risk of confusion, constipation, and dry mouth when they take these medications."
Certain Diabetes Medications
Dr. Clavijo shares, "Long-acting oral diabetes medications such as glyburide should be avoided in older adults. There is an elevated risk of dangerous hypoglycemia in this population when this medication is used. There are newer medication classes that are safe to use in these patients."
According to Dr. Clavijo, "Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be used cautiously in older adults and generally for a limited duration, given the increased risk of toxicity in this population. The risk of bleeding is a big concern in people with a history of stomach ulcers. Long-term use of NSAIDs at high doses can also adversely affect kidney function and blood pressure."
Dr. Clavijo states, "Digoxin is an older drug used to treat heart failure and cardiac rhythm irregularities. At higher doses, it has been shown to be toxic in older adults with renal impairment due to accumulation of the medication in the system. Doses higher than 0.125 mg/day should be avoided in this population and newer effective alternatives are preferred."
Dr. Sean Ormond, a dual board-certified in Anesthesiology and Interventional Pain Management with Atlas Pain Specialists shares, "Iron can be easily oxidized in the blood due to its high affinity for iron. This causes inflammation apart from reducing oxidation of other minerals."
Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of the Candida Diet adds, "Elderly that are concerned you are iron deficient, or know for a fact that you are, there are some things you need to know before taking an iron supplement. When it comes to taking an iron supplement, or a multivitamin which contains iron, it is important to avoid taking calcium or consuming calcium around the same time. The term elemental iron refers to the amount of iron that is absorbed from each capsule. There are two forms of iron; heme (from animal sources) and non-heme (from plant-sources). Heme iron is absorbed at approximately 25% while non-heme is absorbed at around 17%. Most iron supplements on the market are made from non-heme sources, which is great for vegan dieters, but should be paired with a vitamin C source for better absorption. All iron supplements should be taken at least 2 hours pre or post-meal to prevent the mineral from having to compete with other minerals for absorption, specifically calcium."
Dr. Ormond says, "Calcium should only be taken from a diet to reduce chances of developing kidney stones and other conditions. Calcium supplements may also lead to an imbalance in calcium levels which may cause calcification in blood vessels."
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD says, "There are several reasons why those over 60 should avoid certain supplements. One reason is the cost associated with supplements that may not be necessary. Many of the elderly population are on a set income and to waste funds on unnecessary supplements should be avoided. Some individuals believe elderly should take two multivitamins a day to support missing nutrients. This is unnecessary as a diet and one multivitamin should be sufficient for all ages. Elderly with a history of constipation should avoid iron supplements if not medically necessary. These can worsen constipation and lead to gut issues."