How Do I Know If I Am Overmedicated?

Overmedication is an unfortunately common phenomenon in American medicine, especially among elderly patients. It can cause a fatal overdose if the patient is not adequately informed about the drugs he is taking.

Causes of Overmedication

Overmedication can occur due to many factors, including the following:

  • The doctor can make a mistake in estimating how much of a drug is needed
  • The pharmacist can make a mistake in reading a prescription
  • The pharmaceutical company may change the strength of the drug prescribed without the doctor realizing it
  • The patient may make a change in his diet, schedule or consumption of vitamin supplements and fail to inform his doctor
  • The patient may be filling multiple prescriptions from more than one doctor, none of whom know that he is receiving medication from anyone else
  • The patient’s condition may heal and be replaced by side effects of overmedication, leading him and his doctor to believe that the medicine has not yet worked
  • The patient may lose track of when to take all of his medications
  • The patient may be elderly and take a dose intended for younger people, even though his metabolism has slowed with age
  • The patient may try to make up for a missed dose by taking the next two doses close together, which is unsafe and can cause more damage than skipping the missed dose

Often, the patient’s condition heals before he is scheduled to stop taking his medication. If he continues to take medicine that he no longer needs, he can experience side effects that may appear to be a new disorder. This can result in his doctor prescribing more medication and furthering the problem.

Symptoms of Overmedication

Overmedication can lead to a variety of common symptoms, including the following:

  • Weakness
  • Difficulty with basic movements
  • Fluctuations in body weight
  • Mnemonic difficulties
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired judgment
  • Disorientation
  • Inexplicable changes in normal behavior

These symptoms may fade in and out, making it difficult to identify the cause. The best strategy is to keep a record of what symptoms appear and at what times to create patterns that may be easier for one’s doctor to recognize.

Finding a Solution for Overmedication

If you think you or someone you love is suffering from overmedication, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about prescription drug use and help you find the best treatment options for your situation. We are ready to help you reclaim your life from excessive drug use. Please call now.