Sunday, May 5, 2013

The importance of advocacy by family members

It is important that family members research drugs loved ones are being prescribed, especially those living in long-term care.
I am not sure my late father's doctor ever read his file. He would pop in, see us during lunch, with the Charge Nurse accompanying him, and I do not know if he even knew Dad was palliative and had a brain tumour and dementia, as well as delirium.

The pharmaceuticals do not do research using seniors, nor do they use people with multiple chronic conditions, something most seniors face.

Dementia patient dies after being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs ...

 – An Edmonton woman died after being given double the prescribed dose
May 1, 2009 because of an “adverse reaction to olanzapine,” which ... In June 2005, Health Canada issued an advisory stating that Zyprexa, and ... have shown anti-psychotic drugs can increase the risk of death in seniors

Olanzapine (Zyprexa®), an atypical antipsychotic, was first marketed in Canada in July 1996 for the acute and maintenance treatment of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. A total of 153 domestic reports of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) associated with olanzapine were received by the Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Programme (CADRMP) between that time and Feb. 24, 2000.
Olanzapine was reported as a suspected drug in 22 deaths. Reported causes of death included suicide or overdose (8), neuroleptic malignant syndrome (2), arrhythmia (3), myocardial infarction (1), heart failure and pneumonia (1), pneumonia (1), sepsis (1), sudden death (1), mesenteric thrombosis (1), choking (1), unknown (2).

Mar 5, 2012 ... An Edmonton woman died after being given double the prescribed dose of a powerful psychiatric drug that is not approved for patients with ...
Feb 23, 2012 ... Some antipsychotic medication may increase the risk of death in patients with dementia more than others, according to US research. The drugs...

Feb 25, 2012 ... Researchers have claimed that someanti-psychotic drugs may actually be harmful for dementia patients as these could raise their death risk.


Jennifer A. Jilks said...

In my late father's case, he was prescribed drugs contraindicated by the presence of dementia. Shameful what doctors do to patients.

Karen said...

I took my father off his bp meds when I was there last week. His bp was hanging around 80/60 ON the meds, around 110/70 OFF. And they couldn't figure out WHY he was falling all the time! Fortunately he has a new doctor (gerontologist) now that he is in the nursing home and a number of his meds have been removed completely (four of the ten) or greatly reduced.
People just accept that doctor knows best too darn often.