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Drugs Considered Inappropriate for People Over 65 With AM-Drugged Elderly, Bjt

July 26, 1994

Undated (AP) _ Prescription drugs considered inappropriate for people over 65, and the problems associated with them, according to an independent panel of experts that met in 1991. The drug’s generic name is followed in parentheses by its common brand names.

(The panel listed 23 drugs that it considered inappropriate, but Harvard researchers who studied drugs given to the elderly consider only the first 20 on the list inappropriate.)

Tranquilizers and sleeping aids:

-Diazepam (Valium), tranquilizer. Addictive and too long-acting, causing possible drowsiness, confusion and falls.

-Chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Librax), tranquilizer. Too long-acting, may cause falls.

-Flurazepam (Dalmane), sleeping aid. Too long-acting, may cause falls.

-Meprobamate (Miltown, Deprol, Equagesic, Equanil), tranquilizer sometimes combined with an antidepressant or pain reliever. Addictive, too long-acting, may cause falls.

-Pentobarbitol (Nembutal), sedative. Addictive, long-acting.

-Secobarbitol (Seconal). Addictive, long-acting.


-Amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep, Etrafon, Limbitrol, Triavil). Often causes inability to urinate, dizziness and drowsiness in the elderly.

Arthritis Drugs:

-Indomethacin (Indocin). Can cause confusion, headaches. May be appropriate in some elderly patients under certain conditions.

-Phenylbutazone (Butazolidin). Risk of bone marrow toxicity.

Diabetes Drugs:

-Chlorpropramide (Diabinese). Can cause dangerous fluid retention. Stays in the body a long time, and because of that, if an overdose occurs, can take a long time to treat.

Pain Relievers:

-Propoxyphene (Darvon Compound, Darvocet, Wygesic). Addictive and little more effective than aspirin. Has more side effects than morphine for patients who need a narcotic. Has been associated with seizures and heart problems.

-Pentazocine (Talwin). Addictive, has been associated with seizures and heart problems.

Dementia Treatments:

-Cyclandelate. Not shown effective.

-Isoxsuprine. Not shown effective.

Blood Thinners:

-Dipyridamole. (Persantine). Except in patients with artificial heart valves, not shown effective.

Muscle Relaxants, Spasm Relievers:

-Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril). Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, fainting.

-Orphenidrine (Norflex, Norgesic). Same as above.

-Methocarbamol (Robaxin). May cause dizziness or drowsiness.

-Carisoprodol (Soma). Potential for central nervous system toxicity is greater than potential benefit.

Anti-Nausea, Anti-Vomiting Drugs:

-Trimethobenzamide (Tigan). May be less effective than other agents, may cause drowsiness, dizziness and other reactions.


-Propranolol (Inderal). Feeling slowed mentally and physically.

-Methyldopa (Aldoril, Aldomet). Same as above.

-Reserpine (Regroton, Hydropres). Depression.

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