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Alzheimer's Disease

Medications Not Prescribed

06/05/2003

Question:

Recently my mother-in-law, with the first stages of Alzheimer`s Disease, went to visit her sisters. Upon returning one of them called stating that they had took it on themselves to start her on Aciphex 20 mg/day. The medication was not prescribed to my mother-in-law, but to her sister. Her sister is at least 30 to 45 pounds heavier. Long story short We, her children, are very upset. Her doctor is extremely aggravated. How do I show her sister the danger of this act?

Answer:

I can understand your concern over this situation. It is very important to communicate that no one should ever take medication that has not been given to them by their own personal doctor. Also let your family member know that individuals with Alzheimer`s disease may be especially sensitive to effects of medications, and in particular that many medications can cause a worsening of the memory and thinking problems. 

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Response by:

Paula K Ogrocki, PhD Paula K Ogrocki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University