These Medications Can Be Extremely Dangerous for Older Adults

The effect that prescription drugs have on people can differ from a person to another. Medication can be good for a young person and dangerous for an older one. However, doctors tend to deal with symptoms instead of dealing with the patient.

What some physicians don’t know is that a list of drugs that are prescribed to older people exists and it is called the beers criteria.

What some physicians don’t know is that there is list of drugs, under the name of the beers criteria, and it warns older people of using some usually prescribed drugs. We present you with a list of medications that could be harmful to people over 50 years old. I am sure you already have number 10 in your medicine cabinet.


There is a set of drugs that can put you to sleep and treat your insomnia. Yet, there are not many that older people can use. Sleeping pills like Lunesta can make you feel dizzy instead of tranquilizing your body. It can get even more threatening if used with other prescribed medicine.


Suffering from Acid reflux and heartburn has become a very common struggle for many people, especially with the standard American diet. Proton pump inhibitors, like Nexium, can have bad effects such as kidney problems, excessive diarrhea, and nutritional deficiencies. Age affects our organs as they start not functioning properly. Therefore, patients should be careful when consuming a drug -even if they are excessively available- that might be responsible for kidney problems.


Celebrex is the center of the conflict. However, based on Consumer Reports articles, it is still recommended to a huge number of people every year. Not only did The American Heart Association announce that Celebrex can cause heart diseases, but it is no secret that it raises your chance of heart attacks as a side effect. Although it treats severe pain and arthritis that are mostly health issues many old patients suffer from, seniors should still avoid using it, because they are already at a high risk of getting a heart attack.


Librium is one of the anti-anxiety drugs that have unsteadiness as a side effect, which can cause people to fall. Falling is not good for people older than 50 years as it raises their risks of breaks. According to the National Institute, older people can suffer from other severe issues because of a break. It can send them to the hospital, or give them an injury, or even worse; paralysis.


Vasotec is a good drug if you want to lower your high blood pressure, especially if you have an upcoming event that needs you to be energetic. But, it has serious side effects; it could give you swollen lips, face, and tongue, or liver problems as well as low blood pressure. That’s why it can be dangerous for older adults as they are already at risk of liver issues, which means Vasotec should not be recommended to seniors.


Lipitor, one of the most recommended drugs for heart issues, is mostly prescribed to decrease HDL which is also known as “bad” cholesterol, and replace it with LDL; “good” lipid. But, this drug can give you balance problems, a long-lasting nerve block, and muscle pain. You could also develop major memory problems, which could be hard for you if you are a golden-ager.

Avandia/ Actos

Drugs are important to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. However, many of these drugs are harmful. Just like Avandia and Actos that have been known for raising patients’ chances of heart failures and bladder cancer. Diabetics are already vulnerable to heart problems and cancer, and with age, the risks get higher.


Old people are always in need of sedatives to get a goodnight’s sleep. Yet, sedatives like Ambien should be used with extra caution since that kind of drug might lead to unwanted side effects such as; psychosis, memory loss, lack of balance, which could be dangerous for the older adults.


Mirapex is used to treat Parkinson’s disease, which is a common disease in the United State, as it helps improve the patient’s movement and treat his seizures. However, it can make you sleepy suddenly or your blood pressure low; which might cause you to fall. Or worse; it could give you hallucination.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are excessively used in the U.S.A. You can find it in every drugstore and supermarket, such as Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. Consuming one of these drugs once in a while might be risk-free. But it would so dangerous if these drugs are mixed with anticoagulants, antiplatelet, or corticosteroids. That’s why old people are supposed to have different drugs. Ulcers and perforation could be a result of the misuse of NSAIDs.


Klonopin, a drug that’s responsible for managing the brain’s nerve signals, is mostly used to help people fight their panic attacks and seizures. This drug can cause lightheadedness according to The Beers Criteria. Because of its tranquilizing effect, using Klonopin could put people over 50 years in risk, we’re not even sure if this drug can be of good use for older adults.

Insulin (using a sliding scale)

Diabetes can affect your sight and turn you blind. It can cause organ failure. It can even lead to death. Thanks to the insulin, you can save your life and handle the disease perfectly. However, insulin with a sliding scale can be recommended by some doctors. And that means that you take insulin based on the quantity of blood sugar scales that’s determined in advance, leading to insulin under-dose or overdose. Therefore, the Beers criteria suggest that older diabetics stay away from the sliding scale totally.

Growth hormones

Some people use growth hormones to maintain young looks, unaware of how risky it might be for older people. It might cause arthralgia, swelling of the arms and legs, carpal tunnel syndrome, gynecomastia for men. Older people who got their pituitary gland removed might take growth hormones.


Muscle pain becomes a common struggle for older people, that’s why many of them take prescriptions for muscle relaxation, which can be dangerous for them. Based on the Beers criteria, older adults do not tolerate muscle relaxers because the latter blocks neurotransmitters. Not only that, but Flexeril has side effects such as muscle weakness, which leads to fractures, dizziness, and fatigue.


Benadryl is an antihistamine that comes with side effects like; confusion, constipation, dry mouth, and dizziness. The side effects can be dangerous if the person is over 50 years old and if Benadryl is used as a tranquilizer. Older patients should not take a high dosage, no matter how tolerant their body is to the drug. Benadryl is still prescribed for people who have severe allergic reactions.