Tracking medications: a safety tip

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), person over the age of 65 purchase more than 30% of all prescription medication and more than 40% of over the counter (OTC) medicines. Estimates are that as many as 90% of seniors use either herbal remedies or vitamins. In addition, I would like to add and discuss food interactions as well.  

As a RN I have to tell you that there are some herbal remedies, vitamins, and food that cause medications to either not work or become too powerful for the aging person to handle.

One example is grapefruit, in my years as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and even as a RN (Registered Nurse) I have seen many patients have a grapefruit for breakfast while taking their medications. Then, I have to tell them that is not a good idea. Why you ask?

Grapefruit juice interacts with some calcium channel blockers (blood pressure medication) and increases the level of the medicine in your blood. If you're taking any of the medicines below, seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor if you wish to include grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet.
·         amlodipine
·         felodipine
·         isradipine
·         lacidipine
·         lercanidipine
·         nicardipine
·         nifedipine
·         nimodipine
·         verapamil

If you feel like you need help, please contact us and we can help as well.
Some experts estimate that seniors take an average of 4-5 medications daily. As a RN and Care Manager, I can tell you from experience, this is correct. I have been in homes where I have spent 3 hours helping the patient to organize, discard, and learn their medications. But, the kicker is, I love it! The relief, the happiness and pure joy that comes over them when I ask them how their medications are now, it’s a dramatic, positive difference.

The safety issue is that physicians aren’t always aware of all medications a senior is taking, especially if they see different doctors (lung {pulmonary}, heart {cardiology}, and cancer {oncology} - for example) there is potential for dangerous drug interactions.

To protect yourself, loved one, and prevent ED visits and hospital admission - make a list of all medications, vitamins and herbal remedies that your loved one is taking and share with all doctors and keep the list updated.

If you feel like you need help, please contact us and we can help as well. Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC offers a great medication management services – one on one time with a RN about you and your medications! Where does that happen? With Evolve Senior Solutions, LLC that is where, so Connect with us


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