After a new prescription medication is added, your mom may have to change her daily routine. If it involves a major change to her habits, it can be distressing. How do you help her get through the changes?
Some Medications Require Avoidance of Certain Foods or Beverages
Antidepressants are one medication that often requires abstinence from alcoholic beverages. If your mom is used to having a daily glass of wine with her dinner, she needs to check with her doctor. She might not be allowed to do so.
What are the other options? She could have sparkling grape or apple juice. She might find a non-alcoholic wine that she enjoys.
Antibiotics and some thyroid medications should not be taken after drinking milk or eating dairy products. If your mom likes to have coffee with milk before taking her medications, she needs to stop that.
The anticoagulant Warfarin shouldn’t be taken with cranberry juice. Grapefruit juice is not to be used to take certain medications like Zocor (cholesterol) or Nexterone (heart).
Read over the list of contraindications. If you don’t see any on the list, ask the pharmacist or talk to your mom’s doctor. If there is a contraindication, discuss it with your mom. She might need to take her medications with water, wait an hour before having breakfast or the beverage she’s missing out on.
Side Effects Make It Hard to Stay Active
If the common side effect of a medication is dizziness or tiredness, doing her normal activities can be challenging. She needs to ask her doctor if she has to take the medication in the morning or can wait until night when she’s going to sleep.
She might be able to switch to a medication that doesn’t have as many common side effects. If that’s not possible, her doctor may have tips on helping with balance and avoiding falls when she’s dealing with dizziness. Having a home care services aide in her home after she takes the medication may work best.
Has your mom forgotten to take her daily pills? Do you worry that she’s taking too much or too little medication because she’s unsure if she took her pill? Home care services cover a range of areas of daily living. You should ask about medication reminders. She can have a home care services aide reminding her to take her pills so that she never takes the wrong dosage.