Pill Overdose: Are American Seniors Overmedicated?


Medicine Drug Pills on Plate

Medicine Drug Pills on Plate (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Would you take 24 pills in a day? Maybe if you’re over 80, you’d be spending a good deal of time sorting, categorizing, and remembering to take all your pills in order. Are these seniors too trusting of their doctors and the FDA (Federal Drug Administration)

I first realized the enormity of this problem  when my own mother was taking so many pills she was obsessed with the whole process. She was practically blind which made the whole endeavor pathetic. She was trying to distinguish her pills by their shapes.  When she wasn’t taking her pills, she was falling asleep throughout the day.

I thought it was because she was old, but my sisters and I finally figured out it was because her doctor was over-prescribing medicine. One pill for one condition, and one pill to take care of side effects.  When she would complain about how she felt,  he would throw another pill at her.  Being of the generation which never questioned their doctors, she would obediently do what the doctor suggested.

My oldest sister took my mother to another doctor who cut her medicine drastically. She stopped falling asleep in front of me, but she was still loaded down with medicine. At least she was conscious most of the day which was a vast improvement.

Is the FDA in Cahoots with the Pharmaceutical Companies?

I have a friend who believes there are a lot of natural remedies for the pills that the doctors prescribes. She doesn’t trust the FDA,(Federal Drug Administration)

FDA (trade union)

FDA (trade union) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the pharmaceutical companies, and doctor training   “They teach doctors to treat symptoms not to prevent the problem in the first place,” she contends.

When I see all the older people loaded down with pills I have to agree. It seems really cruel to load these people down with all these pills they have to organize, sort, and take.

I wonder what their lives would be like without the pills? What if they ate the right foods, exercised, and prevented the conditions in the first place? Vitamins, and fiber?

I have to say, I do trust my doctor, and do take a pill she prescribed for my GERD (heartburn and esophagus) problem. She scared me with that word…Cancer. When I suggested I try a more natural approach, she told me it was too late for that. I am thinking about going to a doctor who believes in the more natural approach.

I refuse to take cholesterol pills. I figure I’ll take my chances. I would never take those awful blood thinning pills. All those horrible bruises old people walk around with are not worth it to me.

One might argue that people get so old these days because they take all these pills. What do you think?

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