Common Geriatric Medications That Dentists Encounter

Common Geriatric Medications That Dentists Encounter

Posted by Dental Didactics CE, Academy of General Dentistry National PACE Provider #217643. Dental Board of California Registered Dental CE Provider #RP3768 on Dec 29th 2022

Common Medications for Geriatric Patients 

As a dentist, you’ll likely encounter geriatric patients in your practice. It’s important to take into consideration the medications they may be taking and their possible side effects when providing care. Here are some of the most common medications and treatments prescribed to geriatric patients. 


Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, are commonly prescribed for older adults because they help reduce the risk of stroke by preventing blood clots from forming. Common anticoagulants include warfarin (Coumadin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), dabigatran (Pradaxa) and apixaban (Eliquis). 


Depression is a common issue among older adults. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often used to treat depression in elderly patients because they tend to have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants. Common SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil). Cholesterol-Lowering

Cholesterol Medications

High cholesterol is another common health concern among seniors, so cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins are often prescribed to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol levels. Common statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin(Zocor) and rosuvastatin(Crestor). 

Pain Relievers

Pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to treat both acute and chronic pain in elderly patients. NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal irritation or bleeding, so it’s important for caregivers to monitor these medications closely. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium(Aleve) and aspirin(Bayer).


Whether you're providing routine care or emergency treatment, it's important to know what types of medications geriatric patients may be using—and how those medications may affect your patient's dental care experience. By understanding the various common geriatric treatments and their possible side effects, you'll be able to provide your elderly patients with safe and effective care that meets their needs.

For expanded content see our CE course Common Geriatric Diseases and Medications