Understanding the Medications, Herbs, and Supplements You Take

January 20, 2020

asian woman reading medication bottle and cell phone

Understanding the Medications, Herbs, and Supplements You Take

Has your doctor prescribed a new medication for you and you want to learn more about it? Do you want to know if a dietary supplement will interact with a medication you’re taking? MedlinePlus has information on drugs, herbs, and supplements including side effects, dosage, special precautions.

Oral Mucous Cyst

An oral mucous cyst is a painless, thin sac on the inner surface of the mouth that contains clear fluid. They most often appear near salivary gland openings (ducts). Common sites and causes include:

  • Inner surface of the upper or lower lip, inside the cheeks, bottom surface of the tongue. These are called mucoceles and are often caused by lip biting, lip sucking, or other trauma.
  • Floor of the mouth. These are called ranula and are caused by blockage of the salivary glands under the tongue.

Learn more about the symptoms and treatment.

Lewy Body Dementia

Imagine driving and forgetting where you’re going, feeling tremors in your hands when you try to pick up something, or seeing someone or something that’s not there. These are possible signs of Lewy body dementia (LBD), a complicated memory and movement disease that affects more than 1 million Americans. LBD is associated with abnormal brain deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein — also called Lewy bodies. When they build up, they can lead to problems with memory, thinking, movement, behavior, and mood. Researchers supported by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are working to create better testing and raise awareness. Read more in the NIH MedlinePlus magazine.

Changes in Vital Signs as You Age

As you age, your vital signs may change, depending on how healthy you are. Some medical problems and medications can also cause changes in one or more vital signs.

Body Temperature
As you get older, it becomes harder for your body to control its temperature. A decrease in the amount of fat below the skin makes it harder to stay warm.

Heart and Breathing Rates
As you grow older, your pulse rate stays about the same. But when you exercise, it may take longer for your pulse to increase and longer for it to slow down afterward. Your highest heart rate with exercise is also lower than it was when you were younger.

Blood Pressure
Aging can increase the risk of:

  • orthostatic hypotension or a sudden drop in blood pressure when standing
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)

Other heart-related problems common in older adults include:

  • very slow or very fast pulse
  • heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation

Learn more about changes to your vital signs you age.

Keep Taking Your Medicine

There may be a time when you want to stop or change your medicine. But changing or stopping your medicine on your own can be dangerous and it could make your condition worse. Learn how to talk to your health care provider and pharmacist about your medicine. You can make decisions together so you feel well with your medicines.

Sweet Potato and Orange Muffins

Looking for something different for breakfast? Try these kid-approved sweet potato and orange muffins.