Thursday, February 3, 2011

Strange behavior- check the meds!

If someone you care about suddenly exhibits a change in behavior the first place to check for the root cause is the medication regiment. Not taking the right dose, missing doses, or taking the wrong medication can cause all sorts of issues.

Caregivers can use this checklist when doing a medication review:
1.     Are they taking medication prescribed to them?
2.     Is the prescription current? (as opposed to an old vial stashed away in a drawer)
3.   Is the dosage correct or does it need to be modified? (consult your doctor)
4.   Is the medication being taken properly- the right dose at the right time?
5.   Is the prescription being renewed on time to avoid gaps in the regimen?
6.   Is there a clear understanding of the side effects of the medications if there are any- and are all the interaction warning be followed. For example if you are not supposed to eat before taking the medication is that being followed?
7.   Is there some sort of organizational tool you or they are using to help manage the medications (like pill boxes!)
8.   Does the person still need to be on the medication? Are there better alternatives? (definitely consult your doctor)

Two other things that can really help are to make sure your are being prescribed medication by the same doctor when possible and even better, try to use the same pharmacy when filling them. Establish a relationship with the pharmacist so you can ask the appropriate questions.

These simple steps may eliminate the change in behavior, or in the very least rule out medications as the cause. Hope this helps!


1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts! I especially like your recommendation to make sure you aren't keeping old prescriptions around and to use the same pharmacy.