1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Anti-Psychotic drugs...yes or no?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Suzie G, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Suzie G

    Suzie G Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    56
    I've posted before - hope others might have experience of the following:-
    Following a decline in mum since Christmas (previously posted details here) - paranoia, dis-orientation, verbally aggressive to me (primary carer) abusive phone calls & threats etc, mum and I met with the Consultant Psychiatrist last Tuesday. Doctor prescribed RISPERIDONE to 'calm her down'. I have been advised to 'step back' from my carer role as I'm close to burn out. Mum has a SW and Carer visits twice a day. I was relieved initially until I read about Risperidone on line.....now don't know what to do.
    I have a meeting tomorrow with SW and team co-ordinator of the Care Agency to increase/re-define mum's needs. Anyone experienced this drug first hand? Should she take it?
     
  2. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    403
    I have no direct experience of risperidone, but it was prescribed for my mother by a psychiatrist from the memory clinic. However as she lives on her own with no help coming in, gets in a total muddle with her (non-critical) current medication and has a history of spectacular adverse reactions to drugs neither her GP or I think that it is the way to go at present. I have no aversion to seeing if it would help mum's paranoia, and various people here have positive things to say about it, but until we have mum in an environment where she can be properly monitored I think it's a non-starter. If your mum has regular care visits maybe try it and see. I remember your previous posts, make sure you really do take a step back and let them sort it out.
     
  3. Suzie G

    Suzie G Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    56
    Thanks Sarasa. Think we have to try it and see....just a bit worried it might make her worse.
    Am trying to step back but have spent the last 5 hours writing emails and making phone calls to set things in place just so that I can...you guessed it...step back! Sometimes think it's easier to just do everything myself. Not that mum will let me near her now...that's the problem. I'm the very devil you know!!
     
  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,061
    Toronto, Canada
    My mother was on various anti-psychotics for about 10 years, as she went through several very aggressive and violent stages. She was on risperidone for at least two years and it was effective in stabilizing her behaviour and moods. We had to switch her to another anti-psychotic as she developed Parkinsonian syndrome.

    I feel anti-psychotics have a place for people who are violent, paranoid, very agitated and so on. The one thing is that they should be carefully monitored. This is why we switched my mother's meds around. It took the 10 years or so before she was off anti-psychotics completely but that ws because her disease had progressed so far she was no longer violent.
     
  5. Ohso

    Ohso Registered User

    Jan 4, 2018
    146
    My mum is on Rispiridone, and has been since last June, WHAT a difference, it saved her sanity and mine and enabled us to rebuild our previously brilliant relationship that had broken down spectacularly as she was paranoid and anxious and I didn't understand why she was acting out the way she was so it all fell around our ears.
    She has been on it since June and only now she is in hospital following a fall on Sunday will anyone have checked it....so much for regular monitoring
    Twice a day 0.5mg each time
     
  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,061
    Toronto, Canada
    #6 Canadian Joanne, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
    Sorry. I posted to the wrong thread.
     
  7. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    4,587
    Scotland
    My mum has been on Risperidone for the last year and it has made a huge difference to her, I know that there are risks involved but at 85 I would rather she was not anxious and convinced that someone was going to break in and murder her in the night.
     
  8. Suzie G

    Suzie G Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    56
    This is reassuring, so thank you!
     
  9. Suzie G

    Suzie G Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    56
    That sounds just like my mum....apparently I let people into the house to steal from her (I live 50 miles away!!) Mum is 84 so I'll see what happens. I've been assured that she'll be monitored. We'll see. Thank you for your kind words.
     
  10. Suzie G

    Suzie G Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    56
    Yes, she's been allocated a nurse from the mental health team so I'm hoping that means that she will be effectively monitored. Thank you.
     
  11. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,567
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Although my Mum has been in a care home for almost 3 yrs, Mum has been on an anti psychotic Quetiapine for agitation & aggression since Sept 2017.
    Her care home had tried absolutely everything first including Lorazepam which just zonked Mum out.
    Mum was initially on 12.5mg a day and it was increased to 25mg 3x a day.
    Still considered a very small dose.
    In Mums case it gave her some quality of life back.
    A few times they tried to reduce her dose, which proved disastrous.... not eating, showering, changing, hitting & scratching carers... and us. We had to keep Dad from visiting her when like this.
    Mums at end stage Alzheimers now and has been moved from dementia to hospital level.
    Her Quetiapine has slowly been withdrawn and touch wood no signs of agitation or agression.
    In fact Mum is now at the calmest shes ever been since her Alzheimers diagnosis in 2013.
     
  12. doodle1

    doodle1 Registered User

    May 11, 2012
    241
    My mum has been on Risperadone for four years now and the difference to her quality of life is enormous. She is 94 and to be honest quality of life is now more important than longevity. They tried to take her off it last summer and after a month she was back on it.
     
  13. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,478
    Ireland
    My husband was on 1.5mg per day for over four years. He had been having horrific paranoia, hallucinations etc, and was living in terror. When he started on risperidone, it was as if someone had flipped a switch and turned all that off! He had over two years of a peaceful, contented life at home, before the progression of his illness meant he needed full time care.

    Yes, there are risks with the drug. So it should be monitored - William was seen by the consultant every week initially, and then every six-eight weeks. Thankfully, he never showed any side effects. Not everyone does.
     
  14. Suzie G

    Suzie G Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    56
    Thank you to everybody who took the time to reply. I no longer feel quite so fearful of the possible problems with the drug. I know every patient is different and reacts differently, but we'll give it a go!
     
  15. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    74
    Hi there, were having similar with Mum and are thinking of speaking to the GP to ask for something to calm Mum down. She lives alone, gets very agitated and irritable in the evenings, cant remember that she rang us 10 minutes ago and goes through the whole scenario again. A couple of weeks ago she started ringing us a number of times in the evening, myself and my sister, repeating herself over and over. She thinks were little and doesn't know why we didn't come home from school, why the house is empty; where is everyone, demands to know were we all are. Says she's going to ring the police 999 and send out a search party. Even after a nice family day out together, we take her home, settle her down and this happens a couple of hours later, and goes on for hours. She says she's going to go out now to look for us and hangs up. This cant continue, will drugs calm her down? we both work full time and Mum goes to daycare 3 days a week, we don't know what more we can do.
     

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