Advice from a Doctor: Check If Meds Are Causing Problems

if meds are causing problems

Medication can sometimes work against you

Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk recently wrote about the importance of checking medications to make sure they’re not causing problems instead of providing solutions.

In her article, she tells the story of a man who seemed to have Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body dementia. His family was having a huge problem trying to cope with his difficult behavior.

He was taking three medications that made her suspicious. Each of them could actually cause the various symptoms he was experiencing.


Experiment to see if removing meds improves the situation

Dr. Landsverk decided to try an experiment where she would safely stop all three medications for a short time. She wanted to see if the medications were the cause of the problem and if they were actually needed or not.

It turned out the man didn’t need the medications and didn’t even have Parkinson’s disease. Those Parkinson’s symptoms were caused by medication! And his behavior improved too.


Questions to ask their doctor

To avoid getting into a situation where medications are causing problems rather than solving them, Dr. Landsverk recommends asking their doctor these 3 questions:

  1. Are there medicines that were prescribed a long time ago that might not be needed anymore?
  2. What are the side effects of the medicines your senior is taking?
  3. Could some of the drugs they’re taking interact in ways that cause problems?


Bottom line

Medication issues aren’t always the cause of a health or behavioral problem. But it’s a relatively simple, low-risk thing to experiment with (under doctor’s supervision). Plus, it’s always good to be able to rule medications out as the source of problems.


Next Step  Get the full story from Dr. Landsverk at ElderConsult


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: WebMD


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