Vera Resnick-Weisz, DHom Med (Lic), IHM. Classical Homoeopathy. Local and online homoeopathic treatment available
By law, conventional medications have to be packaged with a leaflet, termed a PIL (Patient Information Leaflet). But how many people read them? Most people glance quickly and brush it off with “oh it’s just posterior covering” – or more crude words to that effect. After all, the doctor wouldn’t give you something unsafe, would he/she?
It’s essential to recognize side effects early. This is particularly the case with side effects of confusion, memory loss or similar. Cholesterol medications are one of the main culprits for this, but the commonly used diabetes and blood pressure meds can also play a part in producing confusion. The problem with confusion, is that as the drug-induced confusion sets in, the patient can no longer point out that it only started when he/she began taking the medications.
The following is a side effects tragedy of errors reported to me by one of my patients. If you wish to join in raising awareness about reading the leaflet, click on my Read Your Pills facebook page, like and share.
So here is the totally avoidable tragedy of errors experienced by my patient:
1. she presented with symptoms of hyperactive thyroid.
2. the GP prescribed medication
3. within several days the patient presented with a rash
4. the GP prescribed antihistamines, in addition to the thyroid meds.
5. within two weeks the patient presented with a mysterious “roving” arthritis, which would attack different joints, incapacitating the patient depending on which joints were affected. The condition affected small joints, such as thumbs, TMJ, and then went into the hip joint for several days, rendering the patient housebound.
6. the GP prescribed ibuprofen, in addition to antihistamines and thyroid meds.
7. the patient was scheduled for an appointment with an endocrinologist for follow-up.
8. the endocrinologist exploded, apparently leaving a nasty stain on the ceiling. He told the patient all her symptoms were side effects of the original medication for hyperactive thyroid, AND APPEAR IN THE LEAFLET. He said they should disappear within two weeks after discontinuing the meds. (the patient reported to me that most of the symptoms disappeared, but “remnants” of the rash and joint problems lingered on for the next 20 years).
9. the endocrinologist prescribed another conventional drug for the thyroid condition.
10. the patient, wary by now, asked the endocrinologist – “what’s this? how is it different?”. “It’s the same rubbish,” the endocrinologist responded. “That’s what there is…”
11. within two years the patient began developing a bad rash, and was instructed to discontinue the medicine.
and as a kicker to this miserable story:
12. When on the verge of being put through treatment with radioactive iodine, the specialist hesitated and instructed the patient to have a specialised blood test (something that could have been done at the outset).
13. The specialist announced (oddly enough, my patient reported, with no sense of wrongdoing or responsibility) that his diagnosis had been incorrect, and that his patient was suffering from thyroiditis, not hyperthyroidism. In addition, had he read the notes properly at the outset, he would have realized that the patient was suffering from postpartum thyroiditis, a very common condition, usually requiring a wait-and-see approach as the thyroid regulates itself, without medication.