Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dangerous meds - Douglas

Senior meds linked to pneumonia

Elderly people suffering from conditions like dementia are often pumped full of powerful meds they don't need -- which is bad enough in and of itself. But unfortunately that's just the beginning -- because as it turns out, these drugs can actually increase the risk of potentially deadly pneumonia.

And when it comes to pneumonia in the elderly, even the mildest form can be a death sentence.

When researchers looked at data on nearly 2,000 seniors -- 258 with pneumonia, and 1,686 without -- they found that the patients on antipsychotic meds were twice as likely to get sick.

The higher the dosage, the higher the risk, according to the study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

But let's face facts here, because that's not the only way these drugs shorten lives.

These are dangerous meds for even the healthiest of people... but force a senior to take them and you're practically killing him yourself -- especially if he didn't need them in the first place.

And believe me, he almost certainly didn't need these meds in the first place. One study last year found that some 80 percent of seniors on these meds don't need them -- and I'd say that's being generous.

Most of the seniors who get these meds live in institutions. The ones that dish out steady doses of antipsychotic meds do so for one reason only: to create quiet, complacent, non-demanding zombified seniors who can be monitored by the smallest possible staff while the owners cash insurance checks.

If you have loved ones in a joint like this, get them the heck out now. If that's not an option, at the very least you need to keep tabs on what drugs they're being given, and why.

And if you're one of the sad sacks behind these pill-pumping operations, find a new line of work... because if I had my way, you'd be in an institution, too: Prison.

Hollecrest & Associates Inc   -"Turnaround Consultants" .

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