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The article reviews a study on the potentially dangerous, inappropriate prescribing of 77 drugs that pose a high risk to older adults. Of the 67 of these drugs that we had previously reviewed in Worst, Pills, Best Pills News, we had classified 60 (90 percent) of them as “Do Not Use,” and the other seven as "Limited Use."
Patients taking sleep medications could be at risk of severe allergic reactions and complex sleep-related behaviors, which may include sleep driving, driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sleeping pill, with no memory of the event, according to the FDA. DO NOT suddenly stop taking sleeping pills without consulting your physician because of the possibility of withdrawal reactions.
A high frequency of drug intake to manage headache pain may mean that you have a condition known as medication overuse headache (MOH). According to the International Headache Society, MOH may exist when the following criteria are fulfilled: (1) there is headache on 15 or more days a month; (2) pain characteristics are dull, and of light to moderate intensity on both sides of the head; (3) drug intake includes ergots, triptans and opioids (these drugs are discussed below) for 10 or more days per month, simple painkillers 15 days or more for a minimum of 3 months; and (4) the headache disappears after withdrawal.
This is the first of a two part series on drug induced psychiatric symptoms that is based on the July 8, 2002 issue of The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. Regular readers of Worst Pills, Best Pills News will recognize The Medical Letter as a reference source written for physicians and pharmacists that we often use because of its reputation as an objective and independent source of drug information. The article lists the drugs and their psychiatric adverse effects.