Know More, Live Well….

Join US for an information Session. It’s all about DRUGS…..

This summer, the Seaforth Family Health Team—in conjunction with Brussels community pharmacy and the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy—will be launching an educational campaign that aims to educate aging adults about medications that are best kept apart. Our focus will be on two classes of medications: opioids and benzodiazepines, and why they may not be acting in your favour when taken together.

Opioids include several medications used most commonly for pain, such as Percocet, Codeine, Morphine, Hydromorphone, and Fentanyl. There are people who have been on opioids for many years, and over time, they may find themselves needing more of the drug to help deal with their pain, resulting in high doses. However, do the benefits outweigh the risks at these high doses? It’s easy to imagine that as you increase the dose of the drug, you feel less pain, but there is growing evidence that suggests that there is a limit to this relationship. Observational studies have shown that by decreasing the dose of a high-dose opioid, pain often stays the same while mood gets better. Although there is no one, definitive reason for this, some theories include decreased withdrawal and sedation.

Benzodiazepines include drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. When these drugs were first studied for sleep, evidence showed that they could help you fall asleep 10-20 minutes faster…but this means that they are just as effective as other sleep drugs and appropriate sleep hygiene (Ex. Putting the phone away, taking a warm shower before bedtime, etc.). We also know that they aren’t always safe: they can increase the risk of dependence, falls in older people, worsen cognition, and more.

As you can assume, in older individuals who take BOTH of these drugs, the safety concerns are much higher. To help make sure your medications—or those of someone you care for—are helping achieve good pain management and restful sleep, please join us for our information session at Brussels Public Library on July 4, 2019 at 6:30 pm.