Have You Evaluated Your Meds Lately?

My sister Linda suggested we go through Mom’s medications, have a pharmacist do what they call a “brown bag analysis”. This is where the pharmacist looks at every medication the person is taking and evaluates whether there are contradictions in medications.

Contradictions occur when there are multiple ailments and medical providers who get involved in an elderly person’s care. Even though you are supposed to list what medications you are on, people forget, they take the wrong dosages or they quit and then return to an old prescription. I have seen senior residents come in who have over 50 pill bottles and they don’t know what half of them do. We then go to the pharmacy professional to sort it all out.

The other issue with elderly is asking at this stage of their life, will taking two fish oil tablets really improve quality of life, or is it detracting from it by trying to get a dementia resident, who has issues with swallowing, to choke down two large fish oil capsules? There is both a practical approach and a medical approach to this.

Despite everyone’s best efforts there may also be medications that conflict with each other, one mediation taken on it’s own may make you sleepy, but if you take three medications that promote drowsiness it may knock you out. The only way to know what’s best is to take all over the counter and prescription medications and have a qualified pharmacist evaluate them. We are anxious to see what the pharmacist says about Mom’s.

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