In an earlier blog, we mentioned how doctors were raising the high blood pressure threshold in seniors. They weren’t going to diagnose high blood pressure (itself) any differently, they only sought to ensure that whosoever was diagnosed was not prescribed any medication until they reached a much higher threshold.
This was an incredibly important change because the expert, Joint National Committee (JNC) panel determined that elderly people were at a heightened risk of strokes, heart disease and death if their high blood pressure pills intermingled with other senior medications. Turns out, that’s not the only thing that can inhibit senior’s health.
When to Take Senior Medications
It may seem like a no-brainer, but certain medications require more specific instruction than what you’re left with on the bottle. For instance, let’s take the high blood pressure (HBP) example. If you’re going to be taking HBP medication, then be wary of what happens to your body and when.
See, our bodies naturally have higher blood pressure during the day (what with being active and all) than at night (when you’re immobile/asleep). People with HBP however seldom experience the decrease at night because their blood pressure is so much higher than the average person’s. It is for this reason, that it is more conducive to take HBP medication at bedtime, so as to level your body out.
Make sense? Good, there’s more.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then you know how painful it is to wake up and not be able to do your daily morning routine because you’re in so much pain. It’s common, especially in colder climates, for elders to suffer the painful symptoms of arthritis in the morning. As a result, this is when many of our loved ones choose to take their medication, but it should be the opposite.
The best time to take senior medications for arthritis is at night, before bed or with dinner. The reason? Without going too deeply into the medical jargon, the substance that creates those arthritic symptoms occurs at night – hence why it hurts upon waking. However, when elders take their medications at night, their pills are able to ward off production of these painful symptoms.
Usually for this kind of arthritis, patients are prescribed ibuprofen and naproxen. However, these pills may take awhile before they actually start to take effect. As a result, many recommend taking senior medications five hours before the pain starts.
The pain may differ for everyone, but it is all the more reason to alter your medication schedule to fit your needs. If, for instance, a senior suffers from pain in the afternoon, then they should take their medication in the morning; for evening pain, take the medication at lunch – and so on and so forth.
Much like sleep apnea, asthma can cause numerous problems with your breathing while you’re asleep. In fact, studies show that asthmatics are close to 100 times more likely to suffer from an asthma attack during the midnight hours (and early morning) than they are to suffer during the day.
The best time to take these senior medications is late in the afternoon (if it’s an inhaler), or midafternoon if it’s a pill.
Experts have found that morning uses do not last long enough and at night it may actually have an adverse effect. The afternoon however clears the airway for the most dangerous hours of the night.