Candy1216 Asked May 2012

I am thinking about asking my mothers doctor to take her off all her medications and start over. Has anyone ever tried this?

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My mother has been on several meds for the past year. They range from Aricept to cymbalta to crestor and blood pressure meds. She takes a few things for COPD, thyroid issues and coQ10 and Vitamin D. I am thinking that the combination of all these meds cant be good. They have been prescribed by a few different doctors who treat each different ailment. Everytime I ask one about a med they refer me back to the first one who prescribed it. They are all reluctant to make changes. I need a brand new plan. Tomorrow we start with a brand new gerentologist. I have waited six months to get an appointment with her, She is supposedly the best out there. I want to ask for all new blood tests and any other diagnostic tests that can be scrutinized. Is this a reasonable thing to ask?

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msdaizy Dec 2012
I felt the same as you did..got another's perspective about all the meds mom was taking and this person told me to try and not combine them all together. Mom was to loopy to stand up straight. So I give her two of them before bedtime..and two more when she wakes up in the middle of the night. It's much better and we both get sleep. I'm all for sleep! Good luck...
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MishkaM Dec 2012
That is something I worry about with my Mom-that her meds are messing with her. She says her doctor is fine with the combinations but I do not trust her input -or my Dad's. ( previous discussion). It sometimes seems to she is more alert in the morning before she has taken her pills. Then once she takes them she loses mental ground.
I had a good friend whose Dad did a dry out at the Cleveland Clinic, I believe, and he was much better after they regulated his meds. Something eles to think about.
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I've done it. We went through the meds one by one with the doctor and axed a bunch. She is doing much better - not falling, thinking more clearly, great BP. I think one problem with seniors is they just keep taking their old meds on top of new ones that are prescribed. You know if your loved one. If it is a sudden change, probably due to meds (if physical cause ruled out). It makes me mad when the
medical profession says "she's 80 years old - of course she will be different". I know my mom and what her abilities are.
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Candy1216 May 2012
thank you jeannegibbs. I will let you know how it goes.
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jeannegibbs May 2012
I think so.

When Hubby developed dementia and his PCP said, "Here's a prescription for a walker. Good luck, " I knew we needed a new doctor! Hubby's dementia specialist is at the Mayo Clinic. Locally we found a geriatrics specialist who is top notch. She started by taking him off everything except the new drugs for dementia. All the blood pressure, heart, diabetes -- everything. His dementia symptoms were severe and it seemed he might be in end stage. When it became clear that he was improving and had a reasonable quality of life, she added things back in. The goal was to continue drugs that improved quality of life, but not that were intended to increase longevity. Sometimes it is hard to judge. The heart meds to prevent a heart attack are to prolong life. On the other hand they also work to prevent strokes, and a nonfatal stroke along with dementia would be a real end of quality of life. She left that decision up to me. That was more than 8 years ago. Since then drugs have been added -- he has had a gout episode and now takes something to keep that at bay. Ditto a bleeding ulcer. The upshot is he now takes more pills than he did to begin with! They are all there for a reason, and they are all monitored by one very careful and compassionate doctor.

Actually, I believe that "the combination of all these meds CAN be good." But not just because several different someones thought so years ago. Put the whole picture in the hands of a doctor you trust to make decisions based on a goal.

At our house, the motto is Better Living Through Chemistry. :) We both take a ton of pills, but we know the purpose of each and have it reevaluated periodically -- for Hubby that is about twice a year.

So, yes, I think what you are asking for is reasonable. If she doesn't want to pull all the pills immediately, listen carefully to her reasons.

Good luck to you. Often the wait for a great doctor is worth it! I hope that is the case for you.
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