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Can't believe my Mother did this!

My parents went on a couples trip with their church to Oregon. They all stayed on one big farm in a gorgeous farmhouse and went out during the day on excursions and then had a cook at the farm where they all ate together in the evening. They had a wonderful time. Well she was telling one of the other couples how she has such a hard time sleeping. The man was telling her that he took a med to sleep that had really helped him and that his wife took it too. Well when they went upstairs to get ready for bed that night, the same man knocked on their door and had a pill bottle in hand, gave mom a pill and told her to bite it in half and just take the half because that is what his wife does. So I'm thinking maybe this is something natural or OTC but it wasn't. He gave her Klonopin! (sp)

I just couldn't believe that number one, this man thought it was OK for him to share his prescriptions with his wife AND my Mother and number two, my Mom actually thought it was OK for her to take some pill that she knew absolutely nothing about! I explained to her what Klonopin is and that it is a controlled drug and what this man did was illegal and very dangerous! Holy Cow!

She understands now, but my goodness what if it had caused a bad reaction in her. They were way out of town on a farm for goodness sake!

Scared me to death! I told her from now on she and my dad are not to take any meds without googling them first. Then if they have questions they are to talk to their Doctor before they even think about taking the med.

Has anyone else had this problem with their elderly parents?



  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    That really is scary! I can't help but think of all the bad things that could've happened!
    I am a certified nursing assistant. I used to take care of patients in their homes. My patients & their families used to scare me often with stories about taking medicine. I can remember one family member saying she found some old meds in her cabinet & gave them to her husband. When I looked at the pill bottle, it had expired over 5 years ago?
    I'm glad that your mother didn't suffer any adverse reactions from taking that med.
  • Wow! That was my reaction as well. Mom just didn't think it was a big deal at all until I explained to her that it was a crime and dangerous too! 5 years expired? A little past the expiration date wouldn't bother me, but 5 years is a long time. I wrote in another post how I tried to get Mom to use a couple of monthly pill boxes like I use for her and Dad's meds. She has two little glass bowls that she sets out each morning. Dad's pills for the day in one and hers in the other. One morning Dad took her pills instead of his own! Still can't get her to change her routine though. Dad has had a few TIA's and is forgetful and a bit confused at times so I completely understand how this happened. I am 5 1/2 hours away from where they live or I would just check in on them frequently. I really worry sometimes.

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  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    I can't help but think there is another forum out there were parents are discussing their teenaged kids and the fact that their kids all took some pills someone brought by! "Hey they are natural!" There are a lot of things that are natural, available in the woods that will put you to sleep permanently!

    My father passed away 2 years ago but for his entire life he insisted that when a medication said, "Do not mix this medication with other medications without discussing with your doctor or pharmacist" he just had to take one pill, swallow it, and then take the other pill with a different mouthful of water! When I worked in pharmacy and saw what he was mixing it literally took me days to figure out. He went to different pharmacies and mail order meds.....

    Ahhh Parents!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • Sheila, what you said is so true! So funny about your Dad thinking taking meds together was OK as long as he had a different mouthful of water.

    One time my parents were going to Nebraska furniture mart to look at furniture so they stopped at a restaurant for lunch and my Dad asked what street Nebraska furniture mart was on and the lady said, " Well I suppose it's in Nebraska. You do realize you are in Iowa don't you?" Not quite sure how that one happened but we all got a good laugh out of it anyway.

    Talked to my Mom the other day and recently she has found a store in some other state that sells natural vitamins, etc. She is taking a bunch of stuff that they recommended and I explained to her that she still needs to check with her doctor before taking them since she is on quite a few meds. She seems to think because something is deemed to be "natural" it is completely safe. Told her the natural stuff can still cause interactions with medIications. Hopefully she will listen and talk to her Doctor. I told her to take a list of what she is taking next time she goes and see what they say. It's so hard living so far apart. I have a brother that lives in the same town they do but even at 46 they basically still take care of HIM so that isn't helpful at all. Thanks for listening!

  • I was in a health food / vitamin shop and a lady came in asking for something that could help calm nerves. The clerk handed her some pills. She then asked if it was safe for her 2 years old. I almost fainted when the clerk said yes because it was natural so it was safe for everyone. Needless to say I walked out the door without buying anything. Just because you can buy it over the counter or in some health food store does not need it will be safe for you.
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  • Wow! That is just crazy to me. You were absolutely right to walk out of there. I just cannot get my Mom to understand that natural doesn't necessarily mean safe. This lady she is talking with and ordering from has some kind of store that sells natural vitamins, etc. and Mom thinks this lady is an authority in this matter. Don't know why I mean she has never even met her in person. Hope she at least talks to her Doctor.

  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    A lot of people have been urged to "trust your pharmacist"! This is true if the person behind the counter IS your pharmacist and KNOWS what prescription meds you take! Please tell the pharmacist or pharmacy tech what medications you take before asking for OTC recommendations! An easy example would be, if you take the prescription medication, cumadin you could bleed out if you also took the OTC medication aspirin! Aspirin is the singularly most dangerous medication of the shelves today. If it was discovered and brought before the FDA today it would not even be allowed to be used as a prescription medication! (While it soothes a headache it also works on so many other systems in your body it has far reaching complications.)

    I want to say, "I don't mean to scare people" but I really DO mean to scare people!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    edited 10/28/2015 - 1:41 AM
    There are so many different Over The Counter medications/supplements/painkillers/sleep aids/etc. They come in all different strengths, under different brand names. Reading the labels, they seem to be a cure all, or listening to a acquaintance who swears by them.

    For many people those OTC do not create any harm, for some there is some benefits, but for others there could be a bigger problem.

    It is so important that before you start to take any OTC, you discuss it with your doctor. If that can not be done, then make sure you talk with
    the pharmacist, not a pharmacy worker. Identify all you current medications. If you use the same pharmacy, they will have all of your prescription records. They are in the best position to tell you if such and such OTC is safe or not considering all of your current medications.

    Try to stay away from those TV or magazine advertisements that offer the fix for weight loss, how to get extra energy, etc.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • My parents are also taking some supplements that a TV Minister is recommending and selling on his show. Mom thinks just because he is a minister he must know what he's talking about. If I told you the name of this minister you would be shocked that she would think he could be trusted.

    I am all for second chances but this guy isn't a pharmacist or doctor so while I might listen to him preach the word, I won't be putting anything he recommends in my body anytime soon! [nope, won't be listening to him either!]

    Just don't know what to do with them sometimes. They are from the old school where you give everybody the benefit of the doubt. Like Doctor Phil says, that ain't the world we live in anymore.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Wondering about your parents taking wrong meds, each other's, if maybe a home visiting nurse to visit to find a way to make it a more natural way for them to recognize their own meds.
    For ex...dad's med cassette in a beer glass, mom's cassette I'm milk glass. Or such thing.

    I'm just curious. Are your parents trying to self medicate?
    As with the Klonopin for sleep?

    Or getting afraid to die? So they want the vitamins or such to be more healthy? Live longer?
    Because maybe they don't feel well?

    Or do they communicate with their doctors clearly about their issues?
    No need to answer me, ....just a thought of what thoughts or feelings may be behind the behaviors.

    I think someone mentioned above, and I kind of agree. As adults, we will see many of our parents may eventually take on a teenage kind of role.
    I know that I knew everything when 14 years old.....and it's been downhill ever since. :)
    So, sometimes it can be difficult to reason with them. Especially as adult child, as they taught us.

    It's often been said, as we age we go through our second adolescence.
    And not being sure of their ages, but many "boomers" or many who lived through the sixties, may revert to not being afraid of
    recommendations of how to feel better.

    It's kind of like, "Parents say the darnedest things!"
    I've heard many older people joking of when they're in "a home", what they will expect the aides to sneak in!
    You'd be surprised at what I heard while working with geriatrics! :) I love them!

    When we're little, our parents are like super beings. We are in awe of them. "Wow, mom's/dad's wonderful!"
    Then it's, "She's so smart! Look what she made me!"
    Then it's, "Awe, mom, not here! Drop me off a block away and don't kiss me goodbye, either!" to, "I'm busy. See you later!"
    Lastly, as parents have aged, we say, "We need to keep an eye on her, but isn't she cute!"
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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