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Checking your own medications - lesson reinforcement!

I have written about our wonderful xmas with OH in hospital before. Today we have a new instalment to add:

Another detail to add to David's "perfect storm" event over xmas: he is on diltiazem hydrochloride (a calcium channel blocker) for BP/atrial fibrillation. Apparently this drug increases the blood level of the anticoagulant he was put on immensely and they are contraindicated. He should never have been put on it in the first place.

He's back on warfarin and started a couple of days ago, had his first blood check today followed by a audience with the haematologist. Who spent half an hour showing him graphs and explaining all about these new generation anticoags. I was rather peeved - I'd have really enjoyed that!

However - yet another reinforcement: check your own medications yourself. Because you cannot trust your consultant, your GP or the pharmacist to notice something like that. And if you are very unlucky it may put your life on the line.

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Thanks for the reminder. I am very glad that he is alright. It’s quite shocking really.

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Oh, good lord! What b@££@ up!

At least you are able to check these things, unfortunately there are many who cannot.

So glad nothing untoward happened - and good luck hoping things settle soon!

Try and avoid stress with PMR - pah, not much chance of that!

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I wouldn't say NOTHING untoward - it was a hell of an experience and one I don't wish to repeat! And he is still pretty weak and wobbly - can walk maybe a few hundred metres on the flat. There is a longish recovery ahead I suspect.

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I always believed pharmacists check what other meds you're on as a routine when you go in with a new prescription. Good heads up from you. Sorry you and David had to learn the hard way.

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So did I really - and you know how sceptical I am! Probably I'd have checked if it had been me - I don't really know what OH takes, bad enough keeping my stuff under control!

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No I guessed it wasn’t plain sailing - having been there with my OH - and I wasn’t suggesting it was nothing to be worried about. Let’s hope recovery goes according to plan.

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Thank you - very good advice.

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Oh dear what a shame, but sadly it doesn't surprise me......even pharmacists don't always check....only the good ones....and many people especially if living alone or can't check are at the mercy of their doctor....frightening....

Hope OH progresses now....years ago someone said to me which I thought was shocking at the time... "Doctor's bury their mistakes!......oh dear.....

Keep well yourself....

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I remember reading somewhere statistics on the rate of doctor caused illness and death and it was unbelievably high when compared with all other causes of death. No doubt much of it is explained by treating someone who was on their way out anyway, but death caused by medical mistake hastened the day.

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Yes, and what about those covered up.....scary.....

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ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/282...

Some 1 in 10 hospital admissions in the elderly are due to adverse drug reactions. Which is extremely scary...

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Thanks for the warning. So glad things are looking better, what a terrible thing to happen in the first place.

I do think one of us should spend some time explaining the meaning of 'enjoyment' to you though!

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If I didn't enjoy that sort of thing I wouldn't be here... ;-)

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.... and for that we are all grateful!

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........and so say all of us!

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Hear! Hear!

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Flippin eck ! TG your husband came through that blast. What a fright. Reminds me of a member of our British community here. She was put on a med (don't have name) by her doctor. Was unwell. Went from bad to worse, when she collapsed. Rushed to hospital, who checked with local pharmacy to know what meds she was on... Double flippin eck. Doctor had written up incorrect dose, was a total whopper, toxic, the pharmacy did not notice (Ho-Hum) and she was in liver failure, toxic collapse ! Hospitalised to stabilise. Couldn't make it up. She had no idea of how or what to check. (She dumpted that doctor.)

Sadly, I trust none of em. Check, re-check, especially for the contraindications, and ask questions.

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My mother in law was on warfarin and her own doctor prescribed another drug after visiting her at home. I was duely sent to chemist to get prescription and just mentioned to the chemist that she was on warfarin and.was that ok. The chemist blew his stack and rang the gp immediately. Turns out if she had taken the two drugs together she could quite easily have died. She we questioned the gp he wasn't even apologetic and just said he was busy.. two weeks later my in-laws were told they would need to find a new gp.!!! Doctors make mistakes. Be responsible for your own medication and just check

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Thank you for the reminder on this very important health issue. We really do have to be our own advocates. I’m so glad that David is ok!

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Poor David, hope he's getting there. OH had similar recently - as you say if we're not there how can we help and husbands don't always remember to ask the right questions..... I didn't know that statins can cause pancreatitis.

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Think I did - but it doesn't jump to the forefront of your awareness does it!!!!

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Certainly doesn't.

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Often the male of the species just hate to ask questions .

They treat going to the GP like going to the Garage , something to avoid at all costs and get away from as quickly as possible .

They never like to look like they are ill , or need to ask questions and ask for help.

Unfortunately , it often means the problem they began with becomes far more serious or harder to fix than it was originally .

Bad enough with the car , but far worse when it is their body , and it could threaten their life.

Bee xx

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Too true Bee.

Terri xxx

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Luckily I deal with the car most of the time in this household...

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A silver lining of GCA/ PMR has been that because the OH knows I should not have to deal with unnecessary stress when I point out the noise, and the need to have the car checked , I don't have the weeks of avoidance and grumbling before he finally admits he can hear it and submits to a chat with a mechanic .

Now if I could just get him to sort out his health checks and meds without those grumbles I would be laughing...😋😀

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Wouldn't we all!

To be fair, OH has had a fairly rubbish 2 years - early 2017 they found a raised PSA and then the biopsy showed prostate ca, radiotherapy ... He'd also had a dermy screen which found a questionable mole, it was removed, nothing found. So at some point when the letter for the bowel ca screening came he ignored it on the grounds he'd been poked and prodded enough.

Had he done it - we might never have got to what happened at xmas!

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But I get where he was coming from there.

After the last five days , with two trips to Aintree ( 5 hour round trip in the car alone each day ) , cardiology ( yet more tests booked) , an MRI , a CT Scan and then the GP today for yet another drug change and steroid alteration , plus the news that they mislabelled my 24 hour urine collection and I have to do it again !!! if I had a standard test come through I would be tempted to say , not now , I'll rebook it later , it's just a MOT check it can wait.

Thing is , even if we shouldn't , sometimes the more pressing issues and pain make us do it , putting priority on using our energy on the urgent over the routine.

But in those cases , I think , yet again that is a GP and Consultant error , they know , even if some patients ( not you) don't .

If they don't see you for these checks , or you cancel and don't rearrange , they should be checking your history and recent check ups , or administration should red flag the lack of routine test results and send the patients another appointment explaining its importance.

At the least , if you miss one annual test or bowel screening , you should automatically receive one the following year reminding you you are overdue.

When we are running around like headless chickens juggling illnesses and appointments they should be keeping an eye on our whole health to make sure things don't slip through the gaps and ask about these things as standard in follow up appointments . But maybe I'm a dreamer😍

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Doesn't hurt to dream...

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Mine hasn't been for 40 years!.....and I more or less know now that if he became ill he wouldn't go......think fear is the word, although he will never admit it. I am grateful that he does most things, the standard though has much to be desired, do I care...no........health is more important.....

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It is fear of not knowing something , fear of sounding stupid and fear of not being healthy. Mixed with a little bit of ego which makes them terrified at the idea of admitting something or talking about embarrassing things.

My OH must be forced to go for anything , the long weeks of grumbling before giving in to us moaning , ' it's not that bad' the key words of most men I think until they drop on the floor and wait for an ambulance.

That's why the surgeries fulfilling their guidelines to give routine MOTs and screening to patients is so important , if they don't pick up on people missing them and send them new appointments some people , especially Men , do not get checked until it's too late .

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Mine goes to none of them, "what you don't know won't worry you"....and he says he feels well, and when they find one thing they find half a dozen....he then quoted my PMR...and says steroids have made me ill........at that point I have to walk out of the room....if not I would get a long sentence!!😱

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My husband is the same , and he has Diabetes!!

But , I point out , just think of the ego boost when you go in and you get told what you already know , you are as healthy as a man half your age!!

He reluctantly goes for all of his regular screenings , jabs and checks now , eyes and extremities , heart and kidneys , liver, all coming out better than some patients they have with no chronic illness. The happier they are the less reluctant he becomes to go.

I also point out to him now , if he does it , it gives me peace of mind , and with the GCA/ PMR and the way even minor anxiety can increase the symptoms he is helping me to reduce the pain and feel relief too.

PMR , the one way to get your OH to do some of the jobs that need doing without the grumbling , going to have to find something to replace it as a husband activator when it's gone!!😁😂😂😋

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Friends here in the village said much the same! But what you don't know about may kill you too if it isn't found until it is too late!

Know what you mean though - I've been eyeing the kitchen knives rather a lot recently!

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I'm glad I'm not the only one.....knives would be messy methinks😉

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That's what puts me off ...

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Statins causing pancreatitis, yes, and much more. See today's Daily Telegraph, 28/01/2019, Health section, write up on the book by Dr Malcolm Kendrick; 'Statin Nation'. Kendrick also has an excellent blog on statins.

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I do like le Fanu’s articles in the Telegraph. I read Malcolm Kendrick’s book The Great Cholestoral Con, in fact it was not only interesting but amusing too. I also read le Fanu’s book Too Many Pills. I think he gets people to email him after his Telegraph articles then uses the results for his next book. Not a bad idea!

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I must try and get the Mon Telegraph tomorrow - always a day late here, have Saturday and Sunday Times, but do prefer the Telegraph. See what the letters say - yes, can get on line, but I buy *nothing on line. No doubt comments will appear on Kendrick's blog. There has been a spate covering WIKI (loathe that publication) which has been blocking subscribers who show 'any' form of anti-statin, anti-Vaxx and any anti 'establishment' guide lines. Same with Pinterest, who are blocking and removing posts... ALL bought and supported by pharma. It is such a corrupt scene.

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I get the Telegraph on line, only because my brother pays for a hard copy and he gets the app free which he gave to me. Cheapskate that I am.

Talking about corruption I have just seen the movie The Big Short, that is mind blowing what the banks were up to.

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Oh I know and I know enough about statins to say never again. 10 days of half the dose almost had me in a wheelchair. I'll take my chances...

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The chances one take lies in taking the statins ! Dire situation of skewed science, corruption and bought governments, medical schools and doctors hauled over the coals for 'daring to speak out', for daring to question 'guide lines'! But the lid is lifted. Think that people and the medical fraternity will look back in horror at what went afoot, was 'acceptable' at this time -

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I was put on them after having my gall bladder removed when my gastric problems continued , with periods of acute pancreatitis as the original issue I was getting help with!!

How's that for uninformed prescribing. They hadn't even checked my cholesterol level before doing it.

Got home from hospital , spoke about it with the GP ( my old one was was good )

She asked if I had them with me , snatched them and threw them in the bin.

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I like the sound of that GP!!!

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She was an amazing GP , and I could cry at the thought of her leaving our surgery some years back still.

I certainly wouldn't be in the pickle I am in now , she was trying to sort things out but left not long after that incident and all my chances of being sorted out for the original issues came to a total halt ( nevermind the GCA/PMR autoimmune hell since) .

She actually left because the surgery was going so far downhill in her professional opinion too , she kept trying to get them to make changes that they discussed , the others never did, she couldn't stand the stress of knowing she was letting her patients down without being in a place to change it anymore.

I know this because on an Out of Hours Emergency appointment a year after she went I was lucky enough to see her and she spilled the beans.

It does make me feel sorry for all the medical staff in hospitals and surgeries across the country who are good , and are trying to do the right thing for their patients , but get let down by the Department or other staff members they work with , and prevented from giving us the care they want to give and that patients deserve.

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Mercifully they are still there - but getting fewer and more and more disillusioned.

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I will have a look Ruadh, thank you. We nearly lost him, they said he'd had a very lucky escape.

They took him off Atorvastatin plus he took another one that was for diabetes - Alogliptin so he's off both now. Also whilst in the hospital they, numerous doctors throughout his stay, asked if he had COPD, which he hadn't been diagnosed with - until today that is, I asked our GP to follow it up and they do spirometer tests at the surgery, it's only mild they say but it's started. Don't know anymore at the moment until he sees his GP. Thank you once again, what we learn on here is more than words can say.

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The thing that has always infuriated me about the statin issue is that they hand it out like its an indigestion pill or a vitamin , that's how little GPs seem to understand about the seriousness of the drug.

They don't even offer the opportunity for you to take time to improve cholesterol levels and other statin regulated issues by other means before throwing the drugs at you.

My OH is Type 1 Diabetic , he got one inappropriate cholesterol result and came home on statins , no advice or guidance on how to improve the issue naturally and chance to try for a few months before being told , 'you need to take these from now on' .

No regular cholesterol test to see if the issue is controlled , and , when he did get normal results ( and he admitted he wasn't taking his statins!) and he asked if he could stop them he was told he should resume and continue statins because they were solving the issue and it would come back if he didn't keep using them.

Little did they know that we were actually using natural methods not their drugs all along , just as I needed to , if he had kept on their regime he would have been on statins for the last 15 years.

It is a farce , let's give them a pill instead of the time and advice to solve the problem properly , and it is the 'instant fix' they always run to if the patient has any form of disease , people with no illnesses get the chance to use the sensible lifestyle choices if it can work for them , everyone should get the choice to try this first.

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There is an incentive for doctors to prescribe statins with QOF points. As long as they exist, in my opinion, doctors will not prescribe correctly.

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That is correct. 'Guidelines' I'm afraid. GPs get rapped for 'not' following. Afraid pharma has a stranglehold - sad, as so much of what is prescribed is inadvisable and a natural approach would achieve more than the meds. AS for statins, skewed science. Information is out there, it is a bad scene.

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I blame Sir Rory Collins of Oxford University for the suggestion of offering everyone statins. He will be suggesting we put it in the water next.

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Correct. The pharma grip...

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The QOF points mean money to the GPs' surgery.

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Don't jest! Remember the Flouride ....😨

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The value of a QOF point was increased by £6.02 or 3.6 per cent from £165.18 in 2016/17 to £171.20 in 2017/18, so GPs are not doing badly by prescribing such things as statins. I believe diabetes is a bit of a winner for them too.

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I assume you have seen this work?

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/275...

PS - what measures did he use?

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Having a look now in case I haven't , but must say ncbi.nlm.nih.gov publications are my go to reading it I feel I do need to research something over most others because of the varied studies and the more straight forward descriptions of the illness discussed in the introductions.

Did you mean what measures does my OH use?

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To reduce cholesterol levels ...

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Yes , I had read that one but a good reminder while chatting now.

I can say from the experience with my OH that the effect of statins on insulin sensitivity is rapid and noticeable for all groups with Diabetes , and as the possibility of getting Diabetes Type2 or Mellitus is high in patients taking steroids or with certain types of illness it is definitely something that should be seriously considered before prescribing.

My OH began his Statins , at first I had raised an eyebrow ( back then not realising GPs would prescribe without thought) but thought he must need the add on .

Within a few weeks of taking statins I noticed that he had begun to have Hyper symptoms after meals ( too much sugar in the blood ) and needed to increase his insulin to manage it.

He also began to experience more Hypos ( too little sugar) between meals or during exercise .

I made the decision that this change had begun at the same time as the statin use and suggested he tried not taking them and just making changes in diet and exercise to see if it would be enough.

Some people might read this and think , that's dictatorial , why should you make the choice , but for anyone who has lived with a Type 1 Diabetic will know the carer does need to keep a close eye on changes and be proactive in the person's treatment.

It is the carer who has to deal with the side effects of poor blood sugar control because they are the ones who have to feed , care for , inject or protect the diabetic sufferer when they have an incident and hope to keep them from hurting themselves or needing hospitalisation. Like sufferers of epilepsy , diabetes sufferers often don't know or don't remember just how bad an attack is or what they do having one.

He took them on alternate days for a week , then every two days , then every three then stopped in the month.

Within , a week of no statins at all his blood sugar levels returned to balance and he had managed to reduce his insulin use back down to the original does he was on.

I am not saying that in extreme circumstances when someone initially gets diagnosed with very high bad cholesterol and has cardiovascular or liver issues that statins shouldn't be used , they are vital initially for some illnesses, but to keep people on them well after the cholesterol is down as management and not address the lifestyle changes or side effects seems dangerous and neglectful to me.

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"they are vital initially for some illnesses" - um, if you say so. But I'm not convinced. Nor is Dr Kendrick...

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It is rare but even then they should be short term use until the patient has become more stable and have begun a controlled health and drug programme , then they should be stopped . And we are talking months not years or decades.

I put my OH on a low saturate , low bad cholesterol , low processed food diet.

He was obviously already on a diet with low processed sugars and lower high carbohydrates for the diabetes and this can help too in creating a balanced system to remove fatty and cholesterol deposits.

It is important to keep good fats and good cholesterols in the diet when you get a high cholesterol count though isn't it , because rather than clogging the liver and arteries they actually help to keep the arteries clean and free flowing . And maintain healthy brain function that keeps the whole thing going .

Equally , it's not just the fats that are key to stopping the cholesterol issues.

A high calcium , B vitamin , Vitamin C , Omega 3 and good iron intake are all key in removing the bad cholesterol from your system and boosting the healthy use of cholesterol in your body .

Smaller portions for meals and little slow burning snacks in between aren't just good for diabetes and gastric issues it helps regulate the liver in fat and bad cholesterol removal and reduces the amount of fatty deposits stored in the body.

Eating foods high in vitamin C at the same time as iron and calcium rich foods helps to increase their absorption and then increases your bodies ability to actively reduce its cholesterol levels in the blood. It's not a myth that a good breakfast with a glass of VitC juice is the best start of a day.

We never eat highly processed fats , like margarines , many can cause more blockages in the heart , vessels and brain than natural fats like good butter or ghee.

Olive and nut oils are good too. Moderation and choice of fats not abstinence is the key.

But what GPs forget is that cholesterol or fatty liver issues if treated naturally are not a quick fix , but a slow managed one that once started has a positive impact on your body straight away.

With diet and regular exercise even mild high cholesterol test results can take 6 months + to get to the right level.

And obviously , although you can still have a nice treat or occasional blow out , if you have had high cholesterol you will need to keep to that healthy diet for good not return to the old ways as soon as it's back to normal.

And that may be the key to a part of the overprescribing , GPs like the quick fix , they like the idea of you getting a drug for life that means the original problem you present with is always kept at bay without further effort. Or use of their time and money!

It means they don't have to keep seeing a patient , monitoring them or pushing them to take health advice when some come back three, four , more times with the same problem because they don't change their ways.

And people like the idea of a quick fix , the idea you can just pop the pills and still keep the unhealthy habits they enjoy. Not realising that they aren't cured , or aren't just taking an indigestion tablet , and that the drug , plus the lack of change in their behaviour is storing up much worse health issues for the future.

So glad you keep highlighting these things PMRPro and as you can probably gather overprescribing , ill administered and badly monitored prescribing is one of my pet hates and really makes me RANT!

Hugs to you and the OH , bee xx

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Hasn't brought my LDL down far - though the vast majority of my high level is the very high HDL.

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How bad is your LDL ,

And how high your HDL?

Did you know what it was before PMR or the steroids ?

Has the cholesterol increased alot since Pred and has it at least balanced out rather than continued to increase ?

You know more than me that with everything going on and the addition of necessary drugs that the numbers are not always simple .

Sometimes the cholesterol levels won't become best end of normal or low while you still have to take certain drugs or have exercise limits this only gets achieved as you get to the end of an illness , start recovery and get the balance back.

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No real idea - on any count! HDL is about 80 I think - and total something over 200 last time it was done. No, it isn't consistently rising, Which is why I say sod it...

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You're right, we're just scared into thinking they must be taken. I am totally aghast there were no warnings - wouldn't mind but OH's cholesterol levels were always good, only when he had the heart attack did the cardiologist say we wanted them even lower....

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My doc put me on statins a few years ago I took one and called at the docs for a sample bottle and collapsed in the waiting room , ambulance sent for hospital found I am allergic to statins so am happy to say no thankyou

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Oh gosh , how horrible for you , I suppose the one good thing was that you were at the doctor's when it happened so in the right place for immediate help.

We can have a severe side effect , intolerance or allergy reaction to any medication or supplement not just Statins , which is another good reason to always double check what you are being given when they prescribe.

Most of the time we haven't found out yet that we react to certain medications , but if you have had any sort of severe side effect or reaction to anything in the past it is always a good thing to force the GP to double check a drugs ingredients before giving it to you , in case that medication is part of the group of drugs or has chemicals in it that you have reacted to before.

Glad you are alright now , hugs , bee x

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I believe they set me on the path to PMR and I feel this may be confused with a Statin myopathy. The thing that ticks me off the most is I listened to my docs , who after all, were trained , rather than listen to the body I have lived with for over seventy years.

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PMR is listed as an adverse event for at lest one statin!

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I've been there, seen it and got the tee shirt. You're right, we should all check our medications.

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I do hope David’s on the mend. It is an awful indictment of the medical profession that people have to warn others to check out it is needed. I had some out of date tablets from the pharmacist recently. I also read about some lady who was given a cream for her eyes and it was actually an anal cream of some sort. It played hell with her eyes. Apparently the name of the two creams was similar although not identical. The department of health are now saying doctor must write prescriptions in capitals or on a computer!!

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Got to ask what OH is short for?? Old Husband Or old Hand. Won’t make anymore guesses until I am enlightened. Very nosy me xx

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Other Half...

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Could it be Other Half although I do like Old Hand!

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This is disgraceful, doctors taking shortcuts by not checking and playing Russian roulette with patients ‘ lives. They do get away with murder!

Hope your husband will feel better soon.

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Other Half . Of course. Dopey me 😂😂

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Hi

I have to do Meds training as part of my job although thank goodness I dont administer them .

My heart goes out to all Careers out thier who do the job normally on the minimum wage and have very short time with each client .

Thay have to check date, and correct meds, know any contraindications and be aware of any allergies to the meds .

Too much responsibility for me

What happens to all those who dont have Care and unable to be aware of what thay are taking ?

Latest on NHS today more cash to ensure we take responsibility for our own health

All on this site do that anyway.

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Seems a bit steep to expect a carer to know things that consultants can't cope with!!!

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They don't need more cash to do this job , they just need doctors and teachers to actually know what they are talking about in terms of health , exercise and nutrition.

I have not known or spoken to a doctor or nurse yet that has the information to tell you straight off the top of their heads of which specific diet or exercise is best for the condition they treat you for to help your recovery.

And this includes nutritionists and physiotherapists at the hospital.

If you see the menu given and the exercises advised in the NHS you can see how inadequate and inappropriate their knowledge is.

If they bothered to look at how the whole person can do the best for themselves a simple piece of A4 with it written on would be enough , and save all the money they waste on many other pamphlets and bits of advertising and campaigns in the one size fits all category that are useless to any but the most healthy of ' Normals'.

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Well, it's a pretty sorry state of affairs if you can't trust your medical advisors to be sure that what they prescribe won't potentially kill you!

Sounds like you've all had a tottering time but I hope David will be feeling better day by day now he is off the offending and contraindicated drug...xx

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So glad that you keep updating us on the progress of the OH and how being given the wrong medication can so easily occur and have a serious impact on our health.

As you say , it is really important to double check any new medication you are given does not interact with your other drugs , or cause an increase in symptoms of other illnesses you have.

Although they should , GPs , Consultants and other doctors often don't remember you full list of drugs or double check when prescribing for symptoms. The pharmacy does try to check but sometimes if you do not use them regularly your full list of medications will not be on their system to be flagged up as a contraindication. This happens more regularly with drugs prescribed via hospital appointments or admittance which then get dispensed and begun as you are discharged.

I ask all my doctor's to check my list for interactions now before getting the prescription.

But , it is also good to double check by reading the leaflet provided with your medicines or online on the pharmaceutical site that makes the drug, sometimes you also find that there are supplements or foods that you should not take with drugs too because they affect their efficiency or cause side effects when taken together too.

For example , Omeprazole and Grapefruit.

If you find all the information confusing it's a good idea to take your full list of medication to your local chemist and ask them to check if all of your drugs can be taken together and don't interact. Or check your new one is safe to take with your current repeats. A good chemist will happily do this.

If you find an interaction , go back to the GP or Consultant and ask for further advice or changes. It is not as easy as just not taking the new drug.

Sometimes , depending on what that drug was for , it can be more important to take the new medication for a more serious condition and the old one needs to be changed for something more suitable instead.

Finally , always go to those annual drug review appointments or if you haven't received one automatically make one.

If something was missed those appointments are there to spot and address the error. They can literally, save you from more pain , or even save your life.

Thanks again PMRPro , and please keep us updated. Bee xx

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But can I point out that we only ever use the same pharmacy - for all the reasons you mention - but we have both suffered from drug interaction adverse effects. They DON'T check - which is inexcusable these days, there is bound to be an app!!!!! And I know that there have been cases of "the computer says NO" and the GP has overuled it.

They had opportunities in the summer on Medicine/ICU and at xmas on Surgery but only the clinical scientist in Haematology (here no doubt a doctor) picked it up.

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Yes , I know and I have been in the same boat too.

It's disgusting and systemic neglect.

I realise you and the OH were put in the terrible position despite all your diligence , I have been in it myself too , and we do all the checks .

Just adding the double belt and braces reminder for all to your really useful reminder post really hit home to me just how bad this unchecked prescribing has become.

In a way the fact that I began then realised just saying check with the GP , or check with the Chemist was not enough made me feel sick.

I suddenly thought that we also need to double check all of our drugs ourselves still anyway , ask the chemist to recheck again and also do the annual reviews not to help them at the surgery but to save ourselves is a terrible position for us all to be put in worldwide as patients.

Even really informed ones like you and the OH can still end up in this position too.

I feel the most concern for all those people who are not like you've, me and the corners on this site and are not experienced with dealing with healthcare , or far worse aren't capable of checking things for themselves.

It disgusts me that now we can have so little trust in the system that we feel we have to double check anything and everything we are told or given .

Let's face it , they are being paid for providing us expert health care , if we have to provide the expertise ourselves perhaps they should start paying us as well.

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Quite! I'm not paid enough for this ...

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Here in New York, pharmacies are required to accept prescriptions only electronically, and to keep all patient prescriptions in electronic records. Scripts are automatically checked for interactions, contraindications, side effects etc. via a program.

Nonetheless, I still ask the pharmacist about anything else I'm contemplating using, whether OTC medications, supplements, herbs, or anything else. I also give them a brief on the current status of my health (PMR, pred) and on significant history (kidney stones). I do the same with my Dear One's scripts.

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Our scripts are now also sent electronicaly for certain things - but not the stuff that is paid for by Rome as opposed to the region (don't ask...)

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Our law was instituted not due to tracking who's paying, but to track who's prescribing and who's getting opioids, which are a major problem in our area and throughout the US.

But for once, they solved more than one problem at a time by developing a program that checks for interactions, contraindications, appropriate dosages over time, all kinds of issues.

And they are catching the medical pill-mills, catching the medics who are prescribing tens of thousands of doses a month, giving the scripts to patients who sell the pills on the street, and getting a cut of the take.

It's a win-win for all of us.

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Most of our prescriptions are sent electronically. However I discovered my pred was sent by fax when the prescription got lost the other day. I can’t even remember what a fax machine looks like.

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Thought what's-his-name had issed a decree they are to be disposed of...

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Nick Hancock!! I am not holding my breath for them to get rid of them though. They say they are worried about security and that is why they are still using them. I would have thought having a sheet of paper sitting on a machine for anyone to read is not exactly secure either. They are also supposed to be getting rid of pagers, remember those? Apparently doctors are using WhatsApp without permission.

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It was the losses that tickled me - fax machines churning out paper that fell down behind the filing cabinet they were on top of and no-one ever looked at/for ...

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Frightening, I wonder where on earth they were buying fax machines or were they all over 25 years old?

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Think they were still buying them! Mind-boggling reallly!!

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I would not know where to look for a fax machine if I were NHS purchasing. Wait I have found some on eBay!

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Warfarin; No grapefruit, Cranberry and more.........

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Exactly , and there are certain supplements you need to keep away from because they may not state on the front label that things are used in them , you only realise it if you read the tiny ingredients label.

Doctors often forget to tell people about needing to remove things from your diet and you don't realise until you read a hospital handout or the drug information sheet.

Which is quite difficult to do , or hard to understand for some.

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happy to hear David is ok!Thanks for reiterating the need for us to question and evaluate the medications we are handed.

As My mother always said...

..."be wary of strangers (in white coats) who give you drugs..".

It's my responsibility to study and ask questions, and share that info with any who will listen...

🙏🏽

💜💜💜

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If we can’t trust the professionals then we need to do a lot of extra googling for ourselves and at the risk of getting it wrong too!!!

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ATB to you both after that festive fright!.. My wife's father ( Psychiatric Nurse) always maintained that Doctors buried their mistakes!

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Good to hear David is on the mend. What a journey he has been on, well both of you have .

I always make a point of asking the pharmacist if I can take meds alongside my pred or do they need spacing. Had to buy one of those pill dispensers now as added metformin and hydroxychloroquin into the mix!!

I also have a statin and Lanzoperazole!! Tried to lay off Lanzoperazole for a day and take some over counter Zantac, but I was in agony so back to lanzoperazole!! Maybe I get rebound, who knows? When I read the discussions on here re: both these drugs , my anxiety levels rise!!!😱😱😱😱

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Whew, PMRpro. This is disturbing news to me. I take the DH, known as Zemtard here, for high BP. Am also on Warfarin. I have been coming out, in more than usual, bruising. Nurses never comment, when I show and tell. Will ask dr when I see him next week.

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It doesn't matter with warfarin - the INR is checked regularly and if it goes high, your dose will be reduced to bring it back into range. This is a problem with the new generation antocoagulants whose USP is that no monitoring is required - so they have no idea what sort of level of not clotting your blood achieves.

If you are bruising more it may be the pred or maybe you have been eating the wrong sort of food - but your INR should be checked monthly ideally and 3 monthly once it is obvious you are stable. If you are bruising a lot with warfarin it is a sign to check more often.

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Thanks for your reply. INR checked regularly and, if on, or near target for 3 continual weeks, then a longer time is given before next INR. Although unwell at present, I do eat properly. Pity the marks have faded, before dr appt. as it was more than bruising, and not what it usually looks like.

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Good advice Eileen. I won't even accept a prescription without going home and thoroughly investigating it.

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So sorry OH having/had these problems and as a result this impacts on you- and you’ve got enough to cope with for yourself!! Thanks again for advice- you can’t presume anything can you!

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Oh, so true; there are many websites that will do this checking (I'm sure you know that), but for someone who relies on GPs and specialists to blindly tell them what to take , it's a great tool. One of the most interfering things is vitamins and supplements. I learned that when my deceased husband was on drugs for Parkinson's + as we say here. I checked and his "One a day for men over 50" was contraindicated with

all his meds. I took it away and threw it out. Vitamins and supplements must be entered into a website check tool on top of the prescribed meds!

So sorry, PMR, you are going through this on top of your own PMR issues. "in sickness and in health." But " health and health" would be a much better ceremony and outcome.

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I am so sorry you have had all this trauma and you are absolutely right to keep checking. I was on aspirin for several years until I read the OHPs from the Das Gupta conference that said it was no longer necessary

Take care 🥂🥂x

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