MEDICATIONS AS WE AGE
Medications absorbed differently as we age
As we age, there are a number of factors that can affect how our bodies use medications: eating habits, including daily food intake and any special diets. Fluid intake; dehydration can affect your body in many ways. Alcohol use or caffeine intake can affect your body and your body’s use or absorption of medications.
Our bodies slow down as we get older. This also includes such bodily functions as your digestive system, changes in body weight, and our cardiovascular system slows down. The changes in our digestive system affect how fast medications are absorbed into your bloodstream. In addition, our liver and our kidney function slows down, which affects how long medications stay in our body, and how they are being absorbed versus how quickly they are expelled.
Because of all these body changes, there is a larger risk for drug interactions in older adults. An interaction is when two or more drugs affect the way each other is absorbed or used by the body. One medication could cause another to not work as well, or it could cause another medication to be stronger than it supposed to be.
Keep track of how you feel when you start a new medication. If you have any unwanted side effects, call your doctor immediately. Unfortunately, sometimes medications are prescribed because the benefit outweighs the unwanted side-effects, but communicating with your doctor is extremely important.