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Too many PRN meds, so I've been told

May 9, 2010
by Kathleen Mears
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At a recent care conference I was instructed that there are too many PRNs on my medication list. I was not surprised since I have taken pages and pages to doctors’ appointments where they were astounded. I asked to see what meds are on my PRN list so that I could tell them which ones should remain there. If I do not give my input, PRNs that I have not used recently, or within the last 90 days, will be discontinued.

My PRN list is like my medicine cabinet. Since I buy most of my over-the-counter meds, I think it is much easier to have an order for them. Then that order could be evaluated every six months or once a year to see if it is needed. There are probably PRNs on my list that I have not used for years. They are for over-the-counter meds that previous pharmacies and facility owners preferred to purchase. Some of those cold medicines had generic names like "Cold Pill" or "Cold Remedy". When I wanted to know what each one was, I learned I had a generic of Benadryl and the other a generic of Sudafed PE.

I discovered that you can only buy regular Sudafed (the kind you have to sign for) so many times and then you are put on a watch list. So I will be taking Sudafed PE instead. It angers me that that druggies making crystal meth have made it almost impossible for law abiding citizens to buy these over-the-counter meds.

The facility can throw away over-the-counter meds I have purchased if they are out of date. I have to admit that I never check an expiration date when I buy an over-the-counter med. But in the future I will, or risk the facility throwing them away before I can use them up.

If I am not consulted before PRNs are discontinued, I may find that I have no order for cold meds during my next cold. Then, I will spend a miserable day or two with my nose running, waiting for a doctor's order to be supplied so that I will have something to take. At that point, I will not be very happy about the rules here.

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Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...