More and more seniors prescribed death-row drug combos

A new study just published in JAMA is sounding the alarm about seniors and drugs like never before.

It appears that more and more of them are being prescribed a killer cocktail of meds.

Despite all the warnings — and despite doctors pledging to be more careful — things are getting worse, not better.

And since doctors have been routinely handing out these deadly meds like candy for so long, many probably don’t even think twice about it.

That’s why it’s urgent that you check your medicine cabinet and question all prescriptions given to you right now — while you still can.

The looming question
“I was stunned,” is how Dr. Dilip Jeste, a UCLA/San Diego professor of psychiatry and neurosciences, reacted to the new study out of the University of Michigan.

And when you hear what the researchers discovered, you may be stunned as well.

In the decade between 2004 and 2013, the number of seniors taking at least three psychiatric meds more than doubled. And for those who live in rural parts of the country, it tripled!

I’m talking about drugs such as opioids like Percocet and Demerol, antidepressants such as Prozac and Paxil, antipsychotics including the dementia med Abilify, and tranquilizers like Valium.

So why are seniors taking so many of these drugs? And — perhaps more importantly — why are their doctors prescribing them at this rate? It seems you can’t turn on your TV or computer without a daily story about the dangers of opioids

or others on this long list — yet they’re still flying off the Rx pad.

The most frightening part is that the researchers discovered, by using data derived from doctors’ own office records, that around half of the seniors being doled out these meds didn’t appear to have a medical condition that would even

justify using them!

They didn’t tell their doctors they were in pain. They didn’t report having depression or any other mental health problems, and they didn’t even need help getting to sleep at night!

Dr. Donovan Maust, who led the research, said one of his “big concerns” was that “these patients don’t have the condition for which the medication was approved.”

I’ll say it’s a concern! It sounds like all a senior has to do these days is see their doctor, even if it’s just a routine visit, and they leave with a fistful of prescriptions for heavy-duty, dangerous meds, whether they need any of

them or not.

One of the big reasons for this could very well be due to the routine way drugs are prescribed off-label for almost any reason under the sun. For example, Valium is often given out for “restless leg syndrome.” Doctors often prescribe

Halcion, a “benzo” med that was approved by the FDA for insomnia (although even taking it for that “approved” reason is extremely risky) for jet lag.

The bottom line is: Your doctor can give you any and all of these extremely dangerous drugs to treat just about anything! And unless you specifically ask him what he’s giving you — and why — you could very well have a medicine cabinet

filled with these “psychotropic” meds and not even realize it.

Now, if you thought any one these drugs was dangerous when taken all by itself, you’re right. But put them together, and you’ve got a recipe that’s very similar to what some states are using to execute death row prisoners

with.

A former assistant surgeon general called these combos a “dimmer switch on the central nervous system” that can cause your breathing and heart to slow down and “ultimately stop.”

The list of meds that can affect your central nervous system is a long one — and it includes pills, liquids, skin patches and even suppositories. And given the haphazard way they’re being handed out, it’s urgent that you find out if

you’re now taking any of them.

Because if you are, you need to ask your doctor why they’ve been prescribed — and, most importantly, how you can best get off of them.

“Sharp rise reported in older Americans’ use of multiple psychotropic drugs” Benedict Carey, February 13, 2017, The New York Times, nytimes.com