Q. I am concerned about all the drugs my 81-year-old mother-in-law takes. Her forgetfulness has gotten progressively worse and she is dizzy much of the time.
She is taking: amitriptyline, Aricept, Arthrotec, aspirin, Avapro, Chlor-Trimeton, Levothroid, Lexapro, Lortab, Norvasc, Symbicort and Tylenol Arthritis. Do you see any red flags?
A. You have reason to be concerned. Her medications might be contributing to her dizziness and mental decline. Amitriptyline is prescribed for depression or pain relief. It is rarely appropriate for older people, as it may increase forgetfulness and confusion. The antidepressant Lexapro might push levels of amitriptyline higher than expected.
Both blood pressure medicines (Avapro and Norvasc) can cause dizziness. So can the pain reliever Lortab. If dizziness caused a fall, it could be devastating.
She is getting a double dose of acetaminophen from Lortab and Tylenol Arthritis. This could put a strain on her liver.