The FDA’s Guide to Aging, Medicines and Alcohol


Many of us will need to consider taking new and different types of medications as we age. It is important to know that some medications do not mix well with other medications (including over-the-counter medications and herbal remedies).  Additionally, many medications do not mix well with alcohol and changes in body weight and circulation can influence the amount of medicine different people need to take.

Below are some of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s tips to handling medicine and alcohol as you age:

  • Read the labels of your medications carefully, and follow the directions.
  • Talk to your health care professional about all medicines you take, including prescription, over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, vitamins and herbs.
  • Look for pictures or statements on your prescriptions and pill bottles that tell you not to drink alcohol while taking the particular medication. If you are taking medications for sleeping, pain, anxiety or depression, it is often unsafe to drink alcohol.
  • Have all of your medicine reviewed by your doctor at least once a year.
  • Keep track of side effects, and let your doctor know immediately about any unexpected symptoms or changes in the way you feel.

As always, if you have any health questions or are worried about medications you are taking, contact your doctor or another health care professional. They can check for any problems you may be having and help you as you go forward.

To read the FDA’s full article and learn more about aging, alcohol and medications click here.


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