I love de-prescribing… taking people off medicines that they don’t seem to need. Many times they feel much better!
Today I saw Mindy (not her real name) for her third visit with me. Last time we had discussed the cough that she had for more than 6 months. Nothing was helping the cough, despite taking 4 medications every day to try to stop it. I realized one of her medications was probably causing the cough. So we stopped that as well as 2 of the cough medications. Today she said that cough is totally resolved. We’re stopping the other 2 cough medications, and I expect she should be fine without them.
Like many of my patients, Mindy has a laundry list of medical problems and medications. One medicine could be causing symptoms such as aches and pains, which leads to more prescriptions to help with the pains. It is also hard to know which medications interact. Each person is different. There are very few people on the exact same collection of medications. So I’m working individually with each of my patients trying to figure out what medicines are needed and what could potentially be stopped.
I also have learned over the years that diet makes a big difference. Eating whole foods and decreasing processed foods can make a huge difference in how people feel. It can help them control their diabetes, high blood pressure and other issues, which can lead to even more de-prescribing, taking them off medications. In traditional medicine people are told that once they have an illness, they’re basically stuck with it. But I have seen otherwise.
I love my DPC (Direct Primary Care) practice where I work for my patients instead of for insurance companies.