Medicines to treat side effects of other medicines? Sometimes less is more beneficial

Medicines to treat side effects of other medicines? Sometimes less is more beneficial

'The evidence for the benefit of many medicines is less clear for older patients as randomised controlled trials generally study younger populations with no other illnesses. This means, especially for older people, that the balance of potential benefits versus harms depends on what is important to the individual patient.'

Jesse Jansen, Andrew McLachlan, Carissa Bonner and Vasi Naganathan of the University of Sydney note that 'It can be appropriate to prescribe multiple medicines for someone with complex or multiple illnesses if there is evidence of the benefits, and harms are minimised. But we know taking multiple medicines strongly increases the risk of unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, falls and injuries and even hospitalisations.


...discussions between doctor and patient about coming off medicines are not easy and there is little guidance on how to do it. We are used to talking about why medicines need to be started, but less familiar with stopping or reducing the doses of medicines.':

Given this scenario applies to many of us, if you feel this applies to you, you may wish to read the article and use it as a means for commencing a discussion with your medical team about the possibility of perhaps discontinuing some of your medications. Please do not stop taking any prescribed medication without the approval of your prescribing doctor/specialist. Also, if you are on a short course of treatment for your CLL, when we can often feel overwhelmed at all the extra pills we are prescribed), consider that taking all those extra pills is only for a short, 6 month period and nausea medications need to be taken before you feel any nausea effects if they are to be effective.


Photo: A protea flower. These South African natives do well in our similar climate.

2 Replies

  • An amazing flower! Very distinctive - makes a striking photo! Thanks Neil.

  • Thanks Neil.

    I think we call these house leeks in theUK although they will grow outdoors too. A succulent.


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