Gayle Yarbrough is the Author of this Blog on Antipsychotic Drugs
Gayle provides her experience she had with the Antipsychotic Drugs that were prescribed for her father. Not all drugs work they you think they will work. Do the Physicians know how these drugs will react on Dementia/Alzheimer patient. I am not sure if they do. Somehow one has to find the information on side effects of medication that is given to Dementia/Alzheimer Patient. As Gayle noted, you really need to educate yourself and perhaps join some Support Groups. Support Groups help in so many ways. You may find the information you are looking for in of the support groups. The medication that is mentioned in Gayle’s Blog may help and and may not. Not all patients are alike nor is the medication one takes the same for every patient
Please take a little time to read this Blog from Gayle Yarbrough, we poured you a cup of tea. Let us know your comments on this blog created by Gayle Yarbrough. Perhaps you may have some suggestions on what you did to manage your loved ones medication.
I have personally seen how Antipsychotic Drugs effect Dementia patients. Please study and read up on the side effects of these medications.
Between Doctors and Care Homes they use these to “manage” our loved ones. Because patients with dementia have behavioral symptoms they seem to think these are the answer. Antipsychotic medication (Haloperiodol, Quetiapine, Risperidone and Olanzapine) were initially developed for Schizophrenia, a mental condition with symptoms of delusions and hallucinations.
These drugs are often used because of their sedative effects. People with Dementia often have delusions, hallucinations, anxiety, agitation, sleep disturbances and pacing. These drugs often cause so many more issues because they alter a person’s mental state. Other drugs used are Antidepressants, Anticonvulsants and Benzodiazepines.
These should be used only as a last resort. Dementia is a term of symptoms associated with more than 70 separate diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Lewy Body Dementia. Responsive behavior such as personality changes, reasoning skills and language are associated with the condition and they vary on the type as well as the severity of the disease. Sometimes these behaviors are due to their environment, over stimulation, pain or being hungry.
The language part of the brain may be misfiring and not able to say what they are feeling or wanting. This cause them to be agitated and if they can’t say or communicate what they need they can become aggressive. I saw this in caring for my Dad. He’d always been a gentle mild tempered man. But as his Dementia progressed he would often become angry and at times strike out. It was very hard for me to watch this happen, but had to remind myself it was the disease.
He was on Namenda and Galatenmine for about 5 yrs. then the Doctor dropped the Namenda. So he continued on Galantamine for another 5 yrs. The Doctor said he no longer needed it because it had done its job of helping slow the progression and now we were moving into the end stages.
The last 6 months were tough. I was his only career 24/7. I studied and read about the vitamin L-theanine, that it enhances moods. So decided why not. I gave him 100mg in the am and Melentontin 5 mg at bedtime or 10 mg if he was having more of a bad evening.
He was like a changed person and like his old self, as far as being kind and mellow! So my input is to just be sure to read, read and read some more when a Doctor wants to put your loved one on these type of mind altering drugs. Research ask questions, join a group be informed! If you have any comments on how you handle medication for your loved one, let Gayle Yarbrough know. This is how caregivers help each other.
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