Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Beers List

Just to clarify, I'm not going to talk about Shiner Bock, Rahr Ugly Pug or Corona today.

In my last couple of posts I've talked about some of the negative effects medications can have on older adults. I was pretty unhappy that the nurse at the orthopedic surgeon's office told Mom to take Benadryl, and when we told Mom's geriatrician later in the week, she too was pretty unhappy. In fact, she said she would talk to the surgeon personally.

But like that nurse, I'm sure many of you have never heard of the negative side effects of Benadryl, a common, over the counter medication. One resource available, at least to know which medications have potential negative side effects, is the Beers List (originally published in the Archives of Internal Medicine).

Now, my intent here is not to encourage everyone to go out and question every single prescription prescribed for older adults. Doctors often have to weigh the risks and benefits of a medication. Most people are going to take a strong chemotherapy drug for cancer, despite potentially toxic side effects. The issue is that even common drugs like Benadryl can have really nasty side effects in older adults, that younger people don't have, and too many medical professionals don't know that. So, use the Beers list as a resource, and be sure to talk to your doctor about why a particular medication is prescribed, so you can be an informed consumer.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for that information, Kim. I'm looking forward to learning more about the list. I hadn't heard about it!