You swallow pills by the fistful. Pills with breakfast… pills with lunch… pills with dinner… and pills before bed.
Pills, pills, pills, pills, pills. You swallow so many of the horrible things that you always have a second glass of water handy for when a pill gets caught in your throat and you start to gag on it.
And once you’re done gasping for air, you ask the same nagging question that plagues millions of seniors.
Do I REALLY need all these darned pills???
I’ve got the answer, my friend, and it’s what you’ve suspected all along: NO!
Seniors get more meds than they could ever possibly need, and the latest research out of Canada confirms that women in particular often take enough drugs to snuff a moose.
Overall, more than a quarter of all seniors get drugs they don’t need…even by mainstream standards.
And that’s saying a lot.
But for women, the numbers are higher. While 26 percent of guys are on “potentially inappropriate” meds, nearly a third of older gals have that problem.
Since women metabolize medication more slowly than men, those extra drugs add up to a much higher risk of debilitating side effects, especially from meds such as sleeping pills (which, by the way, you shouldn’t be taking in the first place).
But this isn’t a male or female problem. ANY senior can end up on meds they don’t need — including cases where you’re given the wrong drug altogether.
One study last year found that 10 percent of all drug mistakes are the result of drug name confusion — including some folks who’ve been given the sex med Viagra instead of the allergy drug Allegra.
Talk about surprising side effects!
The overmedication problem is so big that there’s now a niche operation dedicated to sorting through them all!
It’s time to put one of these folks to work for you. Every senior should have a what’s called a “brown bag checkup” at least twice a year.
That’s when you stuff every med you take into a brown bag and go over everything with a pharmacist who specializes in geriatric medicine.
What they find is often shocking — including drug mistakes, overdosages, redundant meds, and more.
If you’ve never had a brown bag checkup, get on the horn and arrange one. Even if your plan doesn’t cover it, these consultations only run about $30 — and it’ll be worth every penny if it gets you off meds you don’t need.
Then, take what’s left and visit a naturopathic medical doctor, who may be able to swap some meds and their side effects for drug-free alternatives.