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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Medication Effects

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Medication Effects
Question: My father is 85 years old and he is on the following medications:

1.  Propoxy (Darvesett) for pain - 2/day

2.  Inderide - blood pressure and heart 

3.  Bxybutynin - to relax bladder

4.  Zoloft - for depression - 100 mg

5.  Asprin - 2/day

6.  Sinemet - Parkinson's Disease?

7.  Mevacor - cholestrol

A few observations: he is,

-Very confused

-Wants to sleep a lot

-Very restless

-Has pain in lower back/spine area

-Walks with walker in baby steps

-Appears to be very uncomfortable in any position

Are there any concerns with these medicines that we should be discussing with his physician? He has failed noticeably since my mother died a little over a year ago. During the past month his failing has become more pronounced.

Answer: Unfortunately, your father is probably declining due to both age and the loss of his spouse. It is common medical knowledge that men deal more poorly with loss than women do. Here are some suggestions. First, ensure that he does not have any new problems like diabetes mellitus or hypothyroidism. This will necessitate discussing his problem with his doctor and ensuring a blood profile has been drawn. Be sure to include thyroid studies, B12 level and sedimentation rate. Second, if nothing new is found in step one try cutting out some of the more bothersome drugs which might be causing confusion and drowsiness. These drugs are propoxyphene and inderide. You must be prepared to see him worsen if you eliminate medications in an attempt to get him better. Lastly, a geriatric psychiatrist may he useful.
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