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Medication Issues for Seniors

I have always been an avid believer in the bodyís ability to heal and cure itself and have spent my adult life following this principle, believing that medication can often disturb the bodies natural ability to heal. The amount of drugs being prescribed at present is, I believe, a matter for concern.

With both of my parents in their late eighties and with the added difficulties of my motherís dementia - many issues have come to light, which as a family we have had to deal with. On several occasions, issues with their medication required serious investigation.

Through my community work with seniors, I am increasingly made aware of concerns being raised over medication. Many people are worried that their medication is causing them to feel strange and unwell. They also appear to be uninformed about these drugs, with no idea of any potential side effects. They are concerned that to raise these worries with their doctors may seem ungrateful.

It cannot be denied that great advancements have been made in medical science with benefits for us all but the present reluctance to be in any way critical is not beneficial. It is more likely that the older generation will put their trust in the medical profession without question and assume that everything is done in their best interests. But now more than ever, it would seem that profits are being put before peoplesí health and it is time for all of us to become more aware of this change.

Reports show an increasing percentage of people being admitted into hospital from the side effects of their medication. In the US, it has been stated that side effects from medication is the fourth leading cause of death. The UK's National Patient Safety Agency reports that several hundred people a year are hospitalized for mistakes made in drug prescriptions.

Should profits come before peopleís health? It has been quoted that the drugs companies spend three times more on marketing their products than on research. These companies state that medication is legitimately used when the benefits outweighs the risks. Who is monitoring the benefits or the risks?

It is up to individuals to start taking more control in this situation. The belief that all drugs are beneficial to us, needs to be questioned. People should to be better informed of the possible dangers and risks involved and what action they can be take if they have concerns.

If you are concerned about your medication, ask your Doctor or Family Practice, Internist or pharmacist what they are and why you have been prescribed them or ask someone else to find out for you. If you think you are suffering from adverse effects of your medication, let someone know. Some pharmacists will carry out a medicine review, so it is worth checking that out.

Your health should be in your own hands, take control of it and become more aware. There is no need to worry about questioning your doctor, you have every right to do so.

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