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Rx my heart and hope to die - medicine


This must be a mistake! How could his drug costs rise from $150 a month to $1101 in just three weeks? My hands shook while I read the pharmacy bill.

There was no mistake. The bill I held recorded the drugs controlled by my fathers Alzheimers' care unit. In only three weeks at this eldercare facility, his drug expenses had soared an incredible 734%. Ironically, his attribute of life had plunged about the same percent. On foot and chatting when he entered, he now spent his days confined to a wheelchair, powerless to walk, drugged into a persistent stupor.

"I've got to do something. " The accepted wisdom eerie me all day.

Then, that evening, an incidental trip to the grocery delivered the help I needed. It came in the form of a thick paperback book, The PDR Bag Guide to Prescription Drugs (PDR Compact Guide).

The PDR Abridged Guide provides tons of in a row for all prescription drugs on the promote when it was printed. Essentials include:

  • generic equivalents,

  • why the drug is prescribed,

  • how it must be taken,

  • when it ought to not be taken,

  • side property and exclusive warning, and

  • possible interactions with other drugs and food.

The PDR Compact Guide is existing all through Amazon. com, or you might find a copy like I did at your local grocery or bookstore. Jam-packed with approximately 1700 pages of information, this paperback is a surprisingly inexpensive $6. 99.

Using the pharmacy's bill as a list of medications, I read the PDR bang for each drug my member of the clergy was using. What I found dazed me.

Two of fifteen drugs prescribed were being used "off-label" (not FDA official for the form it is used to treat). One of those was expressly contraindicated for use with Alzheimer's patients. Two more were from drug families that I had earlier identified as causing allergic reactions in my father.

When I was young, my minister used to kid me by saying, "Up with this I will not put!" Up with this I wasn't about to put either, so I called his doctor.

"My vicar is allergic to Furosemide. "

He bristled. "Where did you get an idea like that?"

"Furosemide is a sulfa drug. He's allergic to sulfa drugs. "

"I never heard whatever thing like that about Furosemide," he barked. "Who told you that?"

"The PDR Compact Guide. "

"Well, the PDR has a lot of stuff you don't need to know. " His arrogance grated on my nerves.

"No more Furosemide. " Now I wasn't asking, I was demanding. "You've seen his rash. He didn't have it when he came to the care unit. "

"You're not authorized to say what he ought to or ought to not have. "

"What am I doing," I wondered, "arguing with a doctor of medicine who be supposed to be helping?" I wish I'd vocal the words I attention next. "Bye-bye! You're fired!"

But, in that moment, I resolved to be fully in be in charge of of all my father's drugs. I would learn the whole thing I could and bestow drugs aim to the facility. . . or not. There would be no more ordering drugs not including my definite authorization

I enlisted the expertise of a pharmacist I found just down the street. She courteously took time from her crowded day to counter all my questions and defend no matter which I didn't understand. She took a brief description of my father's illness, made note of his allergies, and obtainable money-saving suggestions. She paying attention on given that exceptional service. In short, she was, and is, an angel.

I as soon as began to look for a further general practitioner to take over my father's care, but I was too slow. Contained by a few weeks, my member of the clergy died of complications from a colossal insulin overdose.

Was my come into contact with unusual? In all probability not, according to a study from the Checkup Expenditure Panel Analysis (MEPS). On the branch of learning of the augmented cost of pharmaceuticals for associates over-65, the study's author, Marie Stagnitti, MPA, reports:

Every year from 1997-2000, the be an average of out of appropriate cost for prescription medicines for those with a asset and age 65 and older was more than three times as high as the be in the region of out of compact deprivation on prescription medicines for those with a asset and under age 65.

The capability for overmedication in the elderly is clear in Stagnitti's chart presentation an be in the region of 23. 5 prescriptions in both 1999 and 2000 for the over-65 group that used prescription drugs. The add up to of prescription drugs used by the under-65 group seemed high to me as well: 9. 5 for 1999 and 10. 1 prescriptions for the year 2000.

Overmedication is not only crushingly dear for our elderly, it represents a real and acquaint with danger. You can do amazing about it. Please, learn about and keep an eye on medications. You will help elders save money. You might even save a life.

About The Author

A native Texas, Phyllis Staff lives in Dallas with her family. She is a critic and photographer whose work has appeared in educated journals and accepted magazines. She is the CEO of thebestisyet. net (http://www. thebestisyet. net) and dramatist of How to Find Great Elder Housing: A Roadmap for Elders and Those Who Love Them (2nd edition).

pando19@direcway. com


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