Our elders are the people in our lives that have nourished and protected us since we were born. However, as time progresses, we find that these roles gradually become reversed. Our elderly now are in need of our help to ensure their own wellbeing. One of the many areas that we must attend to is the medical wellbeing of the individuals we now care for. However, there is a current danger that threatens the lives of the elderly, and it often the medication known as Soma.
What is Soma?
Soma is a prescription medication that commonly used as a painkiller for muscle issues, as well as a muscle relaxant. The drug itself is not generally on the radar of many abuse prevention organizations due to a lessened tendency for individuals to become addicted. However, this certainly does not mean that it should not be used without proper attention to the patient’s needs. Many of the side effects can include frequent episodic or consistent bouts of drowsiness, headaches, extended periods of sleeping, seizures, fainting, and increased dizziness.
Soma and The Elderly
These symptoms that may often be induced by the use of Soma can devastating effects on elderly patients. With dizziness being a common side-effect of Soma, many elderly patients may be at a drastically increased risk of falling. These occurrences may be even more dangerous in situations where the individual is in a potentially hazardous environment (such as the tops of the stairs, or working with dangerous equipment). Soma may also present risks to elderly individuals who drive vehicles, as the effects on one’s tendency to sleep may also provide an additional hazard by substantially increase the risk of getting into a car-crash. Also, there are additional risks for individuals who combine Soma with other substances, such as alcohol or prescribed opiates. When combined with Soma, the effects and health-risk of these substances are exacerbated by poly-drug use. This increased risk also plays into rates of overdose that may be present with elderly individuals who are using Soma in combination with alcohol or other pain-medications. With all of these risks , elderly patients would not be recommended to not take Soma for their own safety.
Finding Alternatives to Soma
With this knowledge, there are numerous considerations that then need to be made when addressing the needs of elderly clients. While a large number of muscle relaxants have been shown to cause similar issues, there are other medications that may provide an effective alternative for more elderly patients. According to some select medical consultants, medications like Baclofen and Dantrium (both comprised of the chemical dantrolene) have less chances of symptoms of weakness, dizziness and fainting to occur. However, like with any situation, one should always consult with his/her attending physician before adding a new medication. Given the unique interactions that many drugs have (especially with alcohol or other medications), as well as other allergic reactions, your attending physician is the most qualified to discern what medications are best. However, if you or someone you know is at risk of falling due to older age, and is taking Soma, take extreme precaution and contact your doctor immediately.