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Early signs of dementia or side effects of oxycodene?


New member
Oct 26, 2020
Hi , I am currently helping a dear friends husband with her care. She is always in great pain from arthritis in most joints and despite having liquid morphine twice a day she has been prescribed oxycodone. Recently she has attacked her husband and displays many of the symptoms listed as side affects from oxycodone, now there is a query from the hospital where she went for high blood pressure that her behaviour may indicate early dementia how do we know if it is the oxycodone or dementia? She is in her late eighties and is otherwise very active and alert


Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
N Ireland
Hello @amandahc and welcome to the forum.

In the earlier stages of her dementia my wife was experiencing symptoms that could have been side effects of recently prescribed meds or a progression of her dementia. The Consultant took took my wife off the meds to see what happened. In my wife's case it wasn't a side effect so the meds were restarted. I suppose this is the only way to get to the answer of your question.

The diagnosis process usually involves a fair bit more than an evaluation of behaviours as so many conditions can mimic dementia and have to be ruled out before a diagnosis is made. In my wife's case it seemed to take a couple of years.

In the hope that it's of some help to you I've put a link to the Society Factsheet about diagnosis below. Just click the 2nd line if you want to read and/or print that
Assessment and diagnosis (426)
PDF printable version