Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Too Many Meds Can Make You Sick

Just wanted to pass along something that my husband and I have recently experienced.  As I've mentioned earlier, he's been in hospital for most of August and upon getting released, I received a very long list of medications for him to take - some we already had at home while others needed to be filled.

After all of this time being his caregiver and after numerous discharges from hospital over these past few years, it never occurred to me that I should inquire further into this long list of prescribed meds upon his release.  So, he came home from hospital feeling terrible, I got the meds that he needed and since his requirements now were to take more than 20+ per day my daughter somehow managed to get a very nifty medicine case which held them all in perfect sequence. 

I continued giving him the meds four times each day.  Each day he continued to feel worse than the day before but again both my husband and I assumed that his increased illness was due to his medical condition and it never occurred to either of us that was not the case.

After two weeks of this constant medication taking we had some company one night.  My husband went to bed soon after feeling terrible.  He asked for pain meds which I promptly supplied and it was not until the next morning when I went to get his morning meds from the nifty medicine case that I realized his previous evening's meds were still there - I had forgotten to give them to him!!! Now being the diligent caregiver that I usually am, I could not believe I had messed up and instantly went on a guilt trip.

Once my husband was up and about that morning, he was amazingly feeling better!!!!   So we both came to the conclusion that he was feeling better due to NOT taking those pills the night before.  For the next two days, just before my husband's scheduled visit to his doctor for a follow-up from his hospital stay, we slowly decreased the meds that we thought he didn't need.  Slowly as well, my husband was returning more and more to his old self, with a little more energy, more appetite and an overall better feeling of wellness.

On the day of his apptment it was indeed determined that he did NOT need all of the prescribed meds!!!  He is now down to a little over 6 per day, versus 20+.  How did this happen?  Well after thinking about it, he was prescribed meds in hospital before a procedure that he to have completed their, and of course after he encountered enormous pain, many of the pain meds that he took while in hospital were to be continued upon his release. 

Lesson learned here though is that when you are in hospital you may have two or three different doctors from the time of admission to release.  While your prescribed meds may seem fine upon release, you should ALWAYS ask your doctor to review them carefully before you leave the hospital to ensure you really do need everything that is on the list.  If you don't need them all and you begin taking them, it will probably make you feel worse.

Just a word of caution here - thought I would share our experience with you but always check of course with your medical professional first of all before deleting any meds from your prescription.  I would definitely NOT recommend anyone to stop taking their medication - only upon your doctor's advice.

1 comment:

Meya said...

Thanks for the post. Going to pass it on to a friend who seems to be in a similiar situation.