Are there any over-the-counter medications seniors should avoid?

There may be over-the-counter medications that seniors should avoid. Over-the-counter medications and any herbal supplements that cause drowsiness should be used cautiously. Many cough and cold medications contain antihistamines that may put seniors at risk for drowsiness and could potentially increase risk for falls.

Seniors should ask their health care providers if an over-the-counter medication is safe to take before starting it. Having a medication list handy will help a pharmacist determine if there could be any interactions before seniors start an over-the-counter medication. Just because a medication or supplement is sold over-the-counter doesn’t mean it is safe for a person to use. Checking with a doctor and/or pharmacist is important before starting any new medication.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.