While many people have no formal medical training, having a parent that suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia can give people a crash course in anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medications.  Often times, these family members tell me they did not like the fact that their parent or loved one was taking these medications because it turned their parent “into a zombie,” had potential serious side effects, or just didn’t work. 

It appears that, in two articles today (available here and here), these family members may be right about the drugs not working.  Both articles discuss findings that some medications may not be as effective as previously thought, and that doctors are not getting the full picture with some of these drugs.

The articles find that some medical journals “continue to paint an overly rosy picture of the effectiveness of new drugs” and “selectively left out unflattering results.”

It’s important to know the medications your loved one is prescribed.  A family member spends the most amount of time with a resident and is best positioned to know what effect a drug is having on someone.  It cannot hurt to ask question.