Over medication a problem for elderly patients


by KING 5 HealthLink


Posted on April 23, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Updated Sunday, May 4 at 10:55 AM

A local woman thought her grandmother was close to death, instead the real problem was over medication.

Ninety-two-year-old Margaret Brandt led an active life until her stroke.

"We were to the point where because she was on so many meds and not really bouncing back to what we thought her baseline was, we were considering hospice care," granddaughter Janene Davis-Webley said.

But Webley, who has a health care background, suspect the real problem was too many medications. Brandt was taking 16 drugs in all.

"We were working with a doctor who did not like my advocating to reduce her medications. So the doctors then fired Grannie and I, so it sent us on a search for a new doctor, which was not an easy task," said Webley.

Luckily they found Overlake Senior Health Clinic.

"This particular patient, when we say her, she was really drowsy and not doing well," said Dr. Priyanka Duggal.

"The best thing we like patients to bring in is their medication bottles every single time," pharmacist Trang Le said.

"Certain medications may be OK in younger patients, but those same medications can cause side effects in seniors again because of some of the changes associated with aging," said Le.

Now Brandt is down to just two medications.

"I think it's really improved her quality of life, so really happy about that," Dr. Dougal said.

Even better -- she's no longer eligible for hospice care.

The best insurance for patients is to take all their medication bottles to every doctor visit so they can check dosages. It's also important to mention any supplements you or your loved one is taking. Something as seemingly harmless as garlic pills can interfere with certain medications.