June 16, 2016
More on Polypharmacy
I had expected one or two emails after writing this blog on the unbelievable pile of pills, but I am now over a dozen emails. Many had parents that they had checked on and were surprised at the number of potential deadly medication conflicts in their possession. Two of the emails said they needed to take a parent to the pharmacist to prove to them the danger they were going to have. Another three could not believe even themselves what their parent was doing on statins and the amount of grapefruit the parent(s) were eating. One needed to take a parent to the hospital because of this.
Most of the parents would not believe the son or daughter because the vitamins, minerals, and grapefruit are considered natural. This required accompanying the parent to a doctor appointment and even then, the parent would not believe the doctor. How could something natural conflict with a prescription medication? Heart medications and statins were the two most problematic medications.
Other problems discovered were many pharmacies being used to prevent discovery of opioid use. This was a real surprise for a couple of children. One son was told to get out their house and never come back. Several phone calls were needed to notify the emergency room, two doctors and several pharmacies to let them know of the parent's addiction.
This is the reason I blog and will continue to blog about polypharmacy and other problems that people with diabetes can face. Polypharmacy has scared me the most and in talking this over with my pharmacist, she stated that this is more common than many people even want to know. She said she tells people quite often that the vitamins, minerals, and over the counter drugs will cause problems with the prescription they have just filled, yet they ignore what she says.
I told her that I still remember what she told one individual that ignored her and ended up dead two days later. I said I have known others that come in here to fill one prescription and travel to another town to fill another prescription of opioids. She said that the state is starting to step up prescription checks on opioid prescriptions and she now has several that she gets alerts on to not fill prescriptions.
She then asked about the Gabapentin that I have filled about every 90 days. I said that I have been moved up and down in my dosage and that two per day were for the neuropathy pain and one was for a muscle pain until that cleared up and now the third one is for arthritis pain in the lower spine. I said that the neuropathy pain was only blunted somewhat, but that I did not want a stronger pain medication until it became worse. The arthritis pain was more of an aggravation and only really bothered me when I was doing a lot of bending over.
She said good as there were several more levels of medication that would help if the pain became worse. I said I know and Lyrica would be one of them for the neuropathy, but I don't want that until I need it. She said it could help, but if I didn't want it, that was good. I said I don't know everything about the arthritis yet, but I hope that I don't need anything more for quite a while. With that she had a customer she needed to help and I left.