Is Your Mom on Drugs? Ours was and here’s what we did about it.

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June 23, 2014 | 7 Comments


  1. Author Oliver Sacks describes the condition and tells some compelling stories about hallucinations in the very elderly caused by CBS in his 2012 book “Hallucinations”.

  2. Completely recognise the response of the nurse who exclaimed that nine drugs were ‘not many!’ I had a similar reaction pre op assessment! I was only on 2 at the time and still felt I could do better – but they are for thyroid so I have to have them.
    My point is I simply cannot believe how bad the medical profession is at weaning people off drugs – if they can manage without surely that makes for a healthier future? It makes me wonder who is most reliant on the drug industry – patients or the doctors who prescribe?

  3. Deeply moved by this narrative – thank you, Johanna. It seems a possible forecast of what we all might now expect, and it occurs to ask whether one needs power of attorney to be able to legally refuse drugs, or inappropriate treatment, on behalf of a relative or spouse?

  4. Here is a copy of my post of Aug 2012 on mother forum;

    Recently 90 y/o Mum had a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) and came out of hospital after an overnight stay with 4 powerful drugs to take;

    Metoprolol – a beta-blocker
    Daily Aspirin

    so when we wheeled her off to her local Doc and protested about this collection basically he threatened her with another heart attack if she did not shape up and take them.

    We pointed out that already her skin was so thin that a scratch with a staple would bleed profusely and be hard to stop.
    His learned comment ‘You might just have to put up with that’

    So back home and start the hunt;

    First Aspirin look here to get a feel how pointless the aspirin therapy is in spite of Docs and media pushing it on behalf of the Drug Cos.

    Then Simvastatin – on the Waitemata DHB web site it has this summary outlines very imprecisely “The benefit of statins in the very old (over 85 years) is less clear”
    So a drug to reduce cholesterol and produce muscle weakness and fuzzy thinking if not depression.
    But this shows how dangerous these statins are in this article.

    Then Dipyridamole – another way to lower cholesterol even tho there is much information saying how lowering cholesterol can wreck your health.
    The Doc had this wondeful flow chart which clearly showed Mother should be happily taking Simavastatin. When asked he admitted it was the same flow chart for a 45 yo male with first heart attack as it was for a 90 y/o female.
    When challenged about perhaps there should be lessor dosage for 90 year olds we got the casual brush off “there is not much research done on that age group. Puleeeze!!
    But check out all the side effects here.

    Then Metoprolol – Looking at side effects of Beta Blockers we see that combing Metaprolol with Aspirin they interfere with each other but that is only one of the side issues.

    When it comes to side effects it is not a case of 4 drugs 4 times the side effects but because of poorly understood interactions, it more like 16 times the chance of side effects.
    Be wary – very wary!

    all the links have dropped by they are active here .

  5. Furthermore after another admission to Hospital, instantly from 0 drugs to 5 drugs, she came out on 5 drugs and once again over a 6 month period we have upped her nutrition and weaned her off the drugs and is now drug free for over a month and even at 92 we are seeing major improvement in her cognitive abilities. But boy, did we have to fight the system.

  6. Even the low sodium level this patient experienced at the beginning of these problems is likely to have been a side effect of commonly prescribed diuretics for raised blood pressure My mother ended up in hospital with severely low sodium because of this.

    She also had Charles Bonnet syndrome and found the visual hallucinations quite distressing.

    Our GP did not recognise either of these conditions.

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