Risks of combined alcohol/medication use in older adults.
ABSTRACT Many older adults (ie, those aged >65 years) drink alcohol and use medications that may be harmful when consumed together.
This article reviews the literature on alcohol and medication interactions, with a focus on older adults.
Relevant articles were identified through a search of MEDLINE and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1966-August 2006) for English-language articles. The following medical subject headings and key words were used: alcohol medication interactions, diseases worsened by alcohol use, and alcohol metabolism, absorption, and distribution. Additional articles were identified by a manual search of the reference lists of the identified articles, review articles, textbooks, and personal reference sources.
Many older adults drink alcohol and take medications that may interact negatively with alcohol. Some of these interactions are due to age-related changes in the absorption, distribution, and metabolism of alcohol an medications. Others are due to disulfiram-like reactions observed with some medications, exacerbation of therapeutic effects and adverse effects of medications when combined with alcohol, and alcohol's interference with the effectiveness of some medications.
Older adults who drink alcohol and who take medications are at risk for a variety of adverse consequences depending on the amount of alcohol and the type of medications consumed. It is important for clinicians to know how much alcohol their older patients are drinking to be able to effectively assess their risks and to counsel them about the safe use of alcohol and medications. Similarly, it is important for older adults to understand the potential risks of their combined alcohol and medication use to avoid the myriad of problems possible with unsafe use of these substances..
SourceAvailable from: Namkee ChoiPsychology of Addictive Behaviors 04/2015; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background The majority of Americans consume alcoholic beverages. Alcohol interacts negatively with numerous commonly prescribed medications. Yet, on a population level, little is known about use of alcohol-interactive (AI) prescription medications among drinkers. The purpose of our study was to determine the prevalence of AI prescription medication use among current drinkers in the U.S. population.Methods Data were from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999 to 2010); 26,657 adults aged ≥20 years had data on past year alcohol consumption and past month prescription medication use. Analyses were adjusted for covariates: age, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, and smoking. Statistical procedures accounted for survey stratification, clustering, and nonresponse. Analyses were weighted to be nationally representative.ResultsThe unadjusted total prevalence of AI medication use was 42.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 41.5 to 44.0). Among current drinkers, adjusted prevalence was 41.5% (CI 40.3 to 42.7). Among participants aged ≥65 total prevalence of AI medication use was 78.6% (CI 77.3 to 79.9) and adjusted prevalence among current drinkers was 77.8% (CI 75.7 to 79.7). The AI medications most commonly used by current drinkers were cardiovascular agents, central nervous system agents, and metabolic agents.Conclusions Our results suggest that there could be substantial simultaneous exposure to alcohol and AI prescription medications in the U.S. population. Given the adverse health risks of combining alcohol with AI prescription medications, future efforts are needed to collect data to determine actual simultaneous prevalence.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 01/2015; 39(2). DOI:10.1111/acer.12633 · 3.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background/Aims: Alcohol-related problems are relevant in the elderly, particularly in developed countries, but there is a lack of cross-country comparisons. The present work aims to examine the frequency and patterns of alcohol consumption in older adults across different European countries, and to analyze the relationship between socioeconomic status and gender with alcohol consumption. Methods: General population-based household surveys of randomly selected adults over 60 years of age in 14 European countries. Participants: 10,119 subjects [mean age: 70.4 (SD = 7.1)], 61.9% women. Results: There are marked differences in alcohol consumption across countries. Except for three countries from eastern regions, most people in all countries present moderate consumption regarding the amount of alcohol and pattern of use. However, there are marked gender differences, with a higher intake in men (effect sizes ranging from 0.57 to 1.27), although these differences are relatively proportional across countries. Finally, a higher socioeconomic status is positively related (B = 0.845, 95% CI: 0.30/1.40) with alcohol consumption after controlling for gender, age, health-functioning status and the country's development level. Conclusions: There are marked differences in consumption of alcohol in the elderly between the different countries, and male gender, as well as a higher SES, were associated with higher alcohol consumption. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.European Addiction Research 11/2014; 21(2):88-96. DOI:10.1159/000360002 · 2.07 Impact Factor