The nursing home I am in gave me medications I specifically said I did not want, and I took them without knowing. Is there anything I can do?

Started by

I am in a nursing home because I had a double stroke. During my recovery they gave me wellbutrin, doxapin, and zoloft without telling me. These drugs have the opposite effects on me than what they're supposed to and I became agitated and nervous. I wouldn't have known I was taking the drugs accept one day the nurse that was giving me pills mentioned that they increased the dosage of Wellbutrin and I knew what my medications were, at least I thought I did. I remember I specifically told the doctor I don't want, and will not take anti-depresant drugs. They just gave them to me anyway. They just mixed them right in with my Coumadin and blood pressure drugs and didn't tell me.When I found out I stopped taking them. I filed a complaint about it and during the hearing they just talked over me, which is easy to do because I had a trake and it's hard for me to talk. They said because I found out about the drugs and stopped taking them two weeks ago, that was in the past and they weren't going back to that. And ignored anything else I had to say about it.


Thomas, are there any family members or friends who can advocate for you?

It's not unusual for a doctor to add meds w/o telling the patient or family, and in my experience it's often a cocktail of meds. They're definitely not inclined to take the minimal route when it comes to meds, at least in my experience.

Are you in a facility that has a respiratory therapist, and if so, can she make an adjustment so that you can speak more and easier? When my father was trached, the respiratory therapist made some kind of adjustment so that Dad could speak; otherwise we had to communicate through writing in a notebook.

Beyond that, I applaud you for standing up to them and challenging the overmedication.

I don't know that there's anything that can be done about what's done in the past. I would certainly be annoyed if not livid. Has this happened since then? Are you getting only the meds that are necessary and not the mood altering drugs?

I can imagine how frustrating and offensive this must be. I battled it when my father was first hospitalized over a decade ago and find that rehab facilities still overmedicate. One of the stupidest things I've seen done is to substitute Tums for calcium. They're NOT equivalent.

It sounds as though the hearing was an internal one? I think you should raise your concerns with the nursing home ombudsman for your state, even if it is "in the past".
Dear Thomas,

You have a right to be concerned. Everyone has a right to know because side effects are a major concern, since no two people are the same.

I would try and escalate your concerns through management and if necessary might have to consult an attorney.
I called in a ombudsman and all he did was talk and told me a person to be a go to person when I had a problem and they didn't do sh#t. As soon as the ombudsman left they went right back to the same old BS.
Call APS.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support