Which Pills are Baby Boomers Popping? [Infographic]

In 2012, the population of Baby Boomers tipped the scales at 78 million. With that many seniors easing into retirement, we wondered what prescription medications and drugs (and illegal substances too) baby boomers are taking to smooth the transition. We put together the following infographic, titled “Baby Boomer Blues: What Pills are You Popping?”, to illustrate all the health concerns many boomers are facing in their golden years, and the medications they’re taking to combat a myriad of ailments.

We encourage you to share the infographic on social media, and you also can embed the infographic on your website using the HTML code below. We ask only that you credit us, Assisted Living Today the leader in finding top assisted living facilities, as the source.

Add This Infographic to Your Website

Find Assisted Living:

Content from the Infographic in plain text:

Typically described as having been born between 1946 and 1964, the “Baby Boomer” generation comprises 78 million people in theUSalone. With that many people easing towards retirement age, what pills are they popping to smooth the transition? [1,2] Source 1: P1, P3

  • Acid Reflux

○     Nearly 20% of Americans suffer the symptoms of acid reflux at least one time each week. [3] Design Direction: Stomach with lightning marks coming out of it.

○     Acid reflux is also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD [3a] “What is GERD?”

Drug type: proton pump inhibitor [3]

  • Common drug names:

○      Aciphex

○     Prevacid

○     Nexium

○     Protonix

○     Prilosec [5] Available proton pump inhibitors include

Common side effects

  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Extended use may increase risk of fractures to hips, wrists, or spine. [4] “The most common side effects”
  • Hypertension

○     TheUSgovernment reported in 2005 that close to 50% of Americans between the ages of 55-64 have high blood pressure. [6] P2 / Design Direction: inside the heart and some of the arteries/veins leading from it tied in knots.

○     The risk of developing hypertension increases to two-thirds for those over the age of 60. [6a]

Drug type: angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor [7]

  • Common drug names:

○     Monopril

○     Univasc

○     Vasotec

○     Zestril

○     Prinivil

○     Capoten

○     Lotensin[8] “The following is a list”

Common side effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Metallic taste
  • Raised blood potassium [9] “The most common side effects are”
  • Diabetes

○     Over 25.8 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. [10] Design Direction: near/in the pancreas, surround with candy.

○     An estimated 70 to 80 million have insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes. [11]

○     Those most at risk are over age 45, have a family history of diabetes, and tend to be overweight. [11]

Drug type: biguanides (insulin management)

  • Common drug names:

○     Glucophage

○     Glumetza

○     Riomet

○     Fortament [12] Source 12

Common side effects:

  • Headache
  • Metallic taste
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Gas
  • Vomiting [13] Source 13

Drug type: Dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) inhibitors (blood sugar reducer)

○     Onglyza

○     Januvia

○     Tradjenta  [12] Source 12

Common side effects:

  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Headache [14] Source 14
  • High Cholesterol

○     Close to 36 million Americans have cholesterol levels high enough to more than double their risk of heart disease and/or stroke. [15] Source 1 / Design Direction: located in the liver

Drug type: Statin (cholesterol reducer)

  • Common drug names:

○     Crestor

○     Zoco

○     Mevacor

○     Pravachol

○     Lescol

○     Lipitor [16] Source

Common side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rashes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Weakness [17] Source
  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

○     The Boomer generation was notoriously for its “Make love, not war” mentality – and that doesn’t seem to have changed. [21] Source 21: P1 & 8 / Design Direction: located in lower grown region (or an arrow pointing down, off graphic)

○     Studies by theUniversityofChicagorevealed that 1/3 of men aged 50 to 64 complain of ED. [22] Source 22: P3

Drug type: PDE-5 inhibitors [24] Source 24: P4

  • Yes, that is a vague name. According to the American Urological Association, it simply means that a man who is sober “cannot maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual performance” [22] Source 22: P2

○     This issue could be caused by numerous NON-medical things, including anxiety and relationship issues. [22] Source 22: P6

  • Common drug names:

○     Viagra

○     Levitra

○     Cialis

Common side effects:

  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle aches
  • Non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (sudden loss of vision) [24] Source 24: P7 – 13

○     Seek medical help right away if this occurs.

Design Direction: The label on a tipped-over prescription pill bottle. You may spill pills of all varieties out of it and use them as a boarder for the IG, if desired. The lid of the bottle could contain (part of) sourcing info.

While creakiness, worry, and sore spots may be creeping in, please be wary of popping any pills without your medical practitioner’s involvement. The Drug Abuse Warning Network found in a recent study that the two most abused prescription drugs amongst Boomers are painkillers (oxycodone, morphine, etc.) and sedatives (Valium, Xanax, etc.). [18] P4 “the two most common”

  • Illegal Drugs

○     A recent study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that illegal drug usage in the past 8 years has increased by 3.1% by those aged 50 to 59. [18] Source 18: P2 / Design Direction: to the side of the body, shady looking things like a pot leaf, needle, and unidentified tablets stacked together and/or used as bullet points.

■In 2011, 4.3 million Americans over age 50 have used an illegal substance.

  • Marijuana use by men over 50 was more prevalent than prescription drugs.
  • Women in general had a higher rate of abusing prescriptions.
  • Men and women over 65 were more likely to abuse prescription drugs[18] Source 18: P3

■A 2011 study byDukeUniversityshowed that 3.9% of adults ages 50 to 64 use marijuana.

  • Of the same age group, 0.7% use cocaine. [20] Source 20: P2

■The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) reported substance abuse disorders (alcohol and/or illegal drugs) in Boomers during 2002-2006 annually averaged 2.8 million.

  • The report predicts this number to nearly double by 2020 to 5.7 million. [19] Source 19: Page 2 Design Direction: could use syringe or pie graph made out of  a pill to illustrate %

What are you popping? Design Direction: a scale with pills on one side and vegetables/fruit and tennis shoes on the other.

Boomers, according to AARP, are heavier and less healthy than the older generations were at the same age. An average man at 50 takes 4 daily prescriptions. This generation all grew up during a time of massive dietary changes in the US, as food became both more processed and more plentiful.

Experts advise that it’s not too late to begin an exercise plan, which would aide in lowering blood sugar AND blood pressure, reducing the risk of depression, improve memory, and decrease several other health risk factors. [25] Source 25:P4 & 11-13


[1] http://www.babyboomer-magazine.com/news/165/ARTICLE/1095/2012-01-09.html

[2] http://www.bbhq.com/whatsabm.htm

[3] http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/19/americas-10-most-popular-prescription-drugs/#generic-drugs-boost#ixzz1nq1iV8P9

[3a] http://www.medicinenet.com/gastroesophageal_reflux_disease_gerd/article.htm

[4] http://www.medicinenet.com/proton-pump_inhibitors/article.htm

[5] http://www.medicinenet.com/proton-pump_inhibitors/page2.htm#tocg

[6] http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/520169

[6a ]http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/19/americas-10-most-popular-prescription-drugs/#pills-of-pfizer-inc-s-blood-pressure-drug-norvasc-are-arran#ixzz1nq1oY81u

[7] http://www.medicinenet.com/ace_inhibitors/article.htm

[8] http://www.medicinenet.com/ace_inhibitors/page2.htm#Examples

[9] http://www.medicinenet.com/ace_inhibitors/article.htm#Whatsideeffects

[10] http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/19/americas-10-most-popular-prescription-drugs/#metformin-bilayer-medicinal-tablets-manufactured-by-sun-pha#ixzz1nq1RAwKn

[11] http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/risk-diabetes

Those most at risk…

[12] http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/oral-medicine-pills-treat-diabetes

Common drugs

[13] http://www.drugs.com/sfx/glucophage-side-effects.html

[14] http://www.januvia.com/sitagliptin/januvia/consumer/type-2-diabetes-treatments/side-effects-of-januvia.jsp

[15] http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/19/americas-10-most-popular-prescription-drugs/#zocorcropped#ixzz1nq20OHiA

[16] http://www.medicinenet.com/statins/page3.htm#tocg

[17] http://www.medicinenet.com/statins/page2.htm#toce

[18] http://www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com/trends/substance-abuse-among-baby-boomers/

[19] http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k11/WEB_TEDS_021/TEDS021OlderAlcUseWeb.pdf

[20] http://www.bettyfordinstitute.org/publications/sci-mat/sci-mat-families/baby-boomers-bring-drug-use-challenges.php

[21] http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23340559/ns/today-relationships/t/lust-or-bust-inside-baby-boomer-bedroom/#.T10pV_Wia1w

[22] http://www.aarp.org/relationships/love-sex/info-07-2011/men-sex-erectile-dysfunction.html

[23] http://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-01-2012/viagra-and-heart-risks-health-discovery.html

[24] http://health.msn.com/health-topics/sexual-health/mens-sexual-health/side-effects-of-ed-meds

[25] http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/10/baby.boomer.health/index.html

Comments 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *