Monday, September 24, 2007

Stop--don't take that pill...yet

…In the Sept 18th NYT, Jane E. Brody talks about polypharmacy, the dangerous cocktails of medicines many of us—not to mention our elderly relatives—are pounding in everyday.

…HA will not repeat the story, we have all heard it. One doctor gives you this, another one says try that, and pretty soon you are tossing down half a pharmacy, plus some self-selected herbs, old wives stuff, and offbeat remedies.

…Hey, it came from a doc or an old married woman, right?

…If you want to savor the whole catastrophe…go to:

…The problem is, each drug does not go over to its intended destination and deal with the problem at hand. They all bounce off each other. A stomach irritant can open a little bleed, a blood thinner than turns it into a gusher, and so on.

…As people age, their bodies change. They cannot process the drugs as completely or as intended, excess does not get excreted, or responses to the drugs get exaggerated.

…We all know by now to carry a list of our drugs or take the bottles in a bag when we go to the doctor. We follow dosing instructions. But we can still run into problems.

…If you take prescription drugs, you may want to participate in a new service of recording your drugs and reporting problems. It’s called iGuard (

…On October 4, at 2 pm, two doctors will assess the risks of your drugs via LIVE email. You ask, they answer.

…At that time, you will go to:

…Drugs can be great, people, lifesaving, life changing. But the life changing part should be in a good way. All drugs have side effects. It’s the healthy side effects we want to harness, and the others we want to avoid by being smart.

….We need to think for ourselves and ask questions. Sometimes the first question is,
“What is this for?”

…HA’s mother takes five prescriptions. The other day, the pharmacist questioned one and for all her big talk about watching this and knowing it all, HA blurted, “Is that her shoulder stuff?”


Onehealthpro said...

Another problem with all the pill popping is the elderly folks still think it inappropriate to ask questions of their medical professionals.

Star Lawrence said...

Oh, I know! I see this so often...We go over and over our mother's meds with the doctor and in my case, I refuse things unless I am totally convinced. Still, I get static.