Help! Brain fog...scary story!

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nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 10/11/2009 11:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Sunday mornings I spend half an hour or so putting all of my medications into my day-of-the-week pill boxes. BTW, my brain fog has been extremely bad lately.

I caught myself putting two each of my Atenolol (high blood pressure med) into the part of the box reserved for the Azathioprine (Imuran - immunosuppressant). I'm supposed to take ONE Atenolol per day, and TWO Azathioprine; apparently I mixed them up because they both start with "A" and the pills are both about the same size and shape (although the Atenolol is white and Azathioprine is pale yellow).

I had already put the Atenolol that I'm SUPPOSED to take in its part of the box, so that means that if I hadn't caught the mistake, I would have taken THREE Atenolol per day instead of one, plus I would have missed taking my Azathioprine!

Overdosing on Atenolol can cause (worst case scenario) congestive heart failure and death.

How can I prevent this from happening again??? Does anyone have any suggestions?

JoAnn
Autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, GERD. Possible lupus and/or polymyositis - diagnoses pending.

Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Mirapex, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP


autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


Statgeek
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 10/11/2009 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Have someone double check for you and write "one a day" on the Athenol bottle might help. If they look a lot different from each other, a family member can check to make sure you have put them in right.
Sue

crazykitty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 10/11/2009 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi JoAnn, I also have a couple of meds that look alike, and have come close to taking a
double dose of methotrexate.

The two meds that look alike I keep in two seperate cabinets. Only take one bottle of meds
out at a time when filling your pill box and then put it away. It takes a little longer, but in
the long run it is safer.

Robin
MCTD, Fibromyalgia, Raynauds, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Degenerative 
 Disc Disease, Hypertension, Migraines and Pseudothrombocytopenia MEDS: Methotrexate, Savella,Flexeril,Diltiazem, Boniva, Vitamins 


Irish Babe
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1371
   Posted 10/11/2009 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, JoAnn.  That can be frightening to mix up the pills. My dh and I do not have the daily pill box, but we have enough pills to take each day. My dm, on the other hand, needs the pill box. She has the 4 boxes per day variety. Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner-Bedtime. My sister or I have do refill it each wk, also. When she is w/ me I label the bottles, just like I do w/ my own and dh's. I make notation of '1 pill 2x a day', 'HBP' and if it goes in the B-L-D- or B box. If there are some that remind you of each other, mark the med name on one w/ yellow hi lighter.
 
I also do important things (where my brain HAS to be ON) early in the morning. As the day goes on, my brain fades away. lol. Find your best time of day to do important things. If you are still not sure, ask someone you trust to set your meds in place for you.
 
Good Luck!!
 
God bless.  Alice.

nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 10/11/2009 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Sue, Robin and Alice! All excellent suggestions....I told my DH that he's going to have to start double-checking my pill boxes. I think that highlighting the labels will help too, especially if I use different colors for the Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Bedtime meds.

Unfortunately I can't predict when my brain will be foggy anymore. Some days are good, others very bad. And I don't always recognize when I'm completely out to sea.

I'm so glad that this community is here.....there really are people who understand what I'm going through!
Autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, GERD. Possible lupus and/or polymyositis - diagnoses pending.

Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Mirapex, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP


autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 10/11/2009 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Also, I'm sure you will be extra careful from now on.  I have four of those weekly pill organizers and I put the whole month together all at the same time.  I'll pick up the bottle, look at it and then know what I put in each day.  Because you have two pills so similar, why don't you take a black magic marker and write on the top of each bottle how many of those you take a day...as a reminder.  You have to see that when you open the bottle.
 
Also, when I take my pills, I take them in a certain order.  I dump them all in my hand.  Then I take out the pills that I will be taking in the evening and put them back in the box.  Then I will take the remaining in a certain order.  I do that because some times the pills have bounced in the wrong section.  I've had two of my diabetic pills in one section accidently.  If I didn't pay attention when taking them, that could have been very dangerous for me, too.  So, I do these little precautions to prevent that from happening again.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 10/11/2009 2:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Here it is possible to take the weekly box to your pharmacist and ask him / her to fill the box for you.

Can you do that?
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~


nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 10/11/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sherrine,

Yes, you're right...I will be much more careful now.

But you bring up a really important point....there IS another chance to catch any mistakes, and that's when you actually take the pills. I have to admit I haven't been checking my meds as I take them, which is very dangerous (I've had pills bounce into the wrong compartments before too), but you can bet I will start checking them as of now!

I just finished color-coding all of my pill bottles (colored the names and dosages/instructions): yellow for breakfast, hot pink for lunch, green for dinner, and blue for bedtime! This will help immensely, and will help my husband also, since he's planning to oversee this task. :)

Thanks!
JoAnn
Autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, GERD. Possible lupus and/or polymyositis - diagnoses pending.

Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Mirapex, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP


autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 10/11/2009 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ivy6,

That's something I hadn't thought of, but I have read about pharmacists doing that for elderly patients with Alzheimer's....that's definitely an good idea!

Thanks,
JoAnn
Autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, GERD. Possible lupus and/or polymyositis - diagnoses pending.

Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Mirapex, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP


autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


Littleneck
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 599
   Posted 10/11/2009 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
As I'm filling up my weekly case, I also take out one bottle at a time, unload the week of pills - but then I'll put the bottle back in upside down, until all the others are completed. That way I won't take out the same bottle twice. Then I'll turn them all right-side-up again, all at once. I do this every Sunday.

nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 10/11/2009 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Littleneck,

Yes, I do something similar....I take my pill bottles out one at a time and move them to a certain place after I've used that bottle. I think what happened is that I had TWO Atenolol bottles, and didn't realize it. But it was a good wake-up call to be more careful!

Thanks,
JoAnn
Autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, GERD. Possible lupus and/or polymyositis - diagnoses pending.

Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Mirapex, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP


autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com


Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 10/11/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
The pharmacy at Target will put colored rings on your pill bottles. You can have a different color for each family member or a different color for each medicine.

Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 10/12/2009 7:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I do a month of pills at a time also and most of them I've been on forever and I take them at night so I put them in my hand and double check before I take them. I also have two that look very simular.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium, Osteoarthritis and Celiac
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches, Carafate and Prilosec
 
Vit D/calcium

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