Saturday, May 31, 2014


I think I have mentioned before that although my father-in-law doesn't live with us he comes to our house for dinner each night.  It is a good opportunity to see how he is and for him to actually have contact with people... often for the first time each day.  Recently he has been forgetting to take his medicine after he goes home so he has been bringing it here.  I have always thought that Japanese doctors overprescribe medicine and looking at his stash my fears have been confirmed - yet again! 
He currently takes 7 different kinds of medicine - some only once a day, some twice a day and others three times a day.  It is a real act for him to go through his big bag and work out which ones need to be taken when.  I offered to get him one of the pill organising boxes but he seems to actually enjoy checking all his medicines every day.  I think it gives him something to do....
When I asked him what they were all for he said he really didn't know, but that the same doctor had prescribed them all so they must be necessary - not quite sure how that logic works!  
I always see elderly people walking out of the chemist with huge bags of medicine and think that the pharmaceutical reps must be rubbing their hands in glee....


  1. Its sad to hear that's the case. Its also the case in Australia to some extent. My grandma takes far too many pills, 'because that's what the doctor prescribes' apparently. Some of which my mother has asked her (own different) doctor about, and have been told are actually harmful!

    1. I always question the mixing of different medicines and the effect they may have. The Japanese solution to all problems seems to be to just keep prescribing and prescribing and prescribing!

    2. Yes... I was once given a medicine for whatever I was sick with, an anti-nausea drug in case the first drug made me feel ill, a painkiller in case the anti-nausea one gave me a headache and a fourth one to help me sleep because the other three might keep me awake!

  2. I am not so sure it is just a Japanese thing... (lately I have observed that) it appears that as people get older they seem to have a container of pills to take each day!

  3. Pretty sure it's a Japanese thing! A few months ago, the baby had a cough and a fever so I brought her to the doc. He said she had a respiratory infection and prescribed 9 different powders and syrups, and one was even a stick on medicine patch! They also ask me to return to the office every morning until the symptoms had abated. I dread my children getting really sick because it means that my whole life goes on hold carting them to and from the doctor while they are feverish and sick and having to force multiple packets of medicine down their throat 3 times a day. In Canada, the doctor would have only given us a syrup antibiotic and told us to come back again only if the symptoms got markedly worse. And people here wonder why I almost never bring our children to the doctor :)