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Signs of Medication Interactions Seniors and Family Members Should Know

Home Care Assistance in Naperville IL

According to research, most seniors take at least five different medications. Seniors who have chronic medical conditions may take even more than that. And many seniors also take over-the-counter supplements that may impact how well their prescription medications work.

Drug interactions caused by taking medications that don’t go together well can be very severe. For example, seniors who take SSRIs with certain pain medications can have extreme symptoms because of the way the two medications interact. Seniors also can have interactions between herbal supplements and medications. For example, seniors who take blood-thinning medications need to avoid herbs that can cause bleeding or blood thinning.

Home care assistance can help seniors keep their medications straight and help seniors manage their medications. But even with home care assistance seniors can experience drug interactions. If your senior parent starts having any of these common drug interaction symptoms or reactions they need to get medical help and contact their doctor right away:

Stomach or Intestinal Distress

Some of the most common symptoms of a drug interaction between medications are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Even if the symptoms are mild seniors should let their doctors know they’re having these symptoms. The doctor may tell your senior parent to stop taking one or both medications.

Dizziness or Fainting

Some drug interactions can cause blood pressure to spike or drop fast, leading to dizziness and lightheadedness. Seniors who experience a sudden onset of these symptoms, especially upon standing, should seek medical attention.

Excessive Drowsiness

Seniors who take sleeping medication, pain medication, or mental health medications that cause sedation need to be very wary of interactions. If seniors start to get extremely drowsy or can’t seem to stay awake their family members or home care assistance provider should all for medical help and call the senior’s primary doctor immediately.

Cognitive Impairment

Drug interactions may cause cognitive symptoms like confusion, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating. Seniors experiencing sudden changes in cognitive function should report these symptoms to their healthcare provider right away.

Changes in Mood or Behavior

Some drug interactions can affect mood and behavior, leading to symptoms such as irritability, depression, or anxiety. Any unexplained changes in mental health should be discussed with a healthcare professional to determine if they are related to medication interactions.

Changes in Urination Frequency or Urges

Certain drug interactions can affect kidney function, leading to symptoms such as changes in urine output, changes in the frequency of urination, or frequent urges to urinate.


Jaundice indicates a problem with liver function, and it can be caused by drug interactions. Any reaction that impacts the kidneys needs immediate attention so that seniors can avoid permanent kidney damage. Seniors who develop yellowing of the skin or eyes, very dark urine, or severe abdominal pain should call for medical help immediately.

Irregular Heartbeat or Chest Pain

Some drug interactions can affect the cardiovascular system, leading to symptoms like irregular heartbeats or chest pain. Seniors with heart conditions should be particularly cautious about potential drug interactions that may exacerbate cardiac issues.

Skin Reactions

Allergic reactions that are caused by drug interactions can cause skin problems like rashes, itching, or swelling. Seniors who start having red patches, irritated skin, rashes, or swelling when they start a new medication need to call their doctor right away.

If you or an aging loved one is considering Home Care Assistance in Naperville, IL, please contact the caring staff at Suburban Home Care today. 630-964-9000

Suburban Home Care Staff
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