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I'm in desperate need of help!

Humptydumpty

Registered User
Jan 10, 2013
11
My husband has Alzheimers and is now deteriorating rapidly over the last 12months
We are struggling with medication and I am at my wits end.as well as Donepezil he was taking Trazadone to help him sleep. This worked but then they decided he was depressed so put him on sertralene but then had to come off Trazadone and in its place gave Zopiclone. This did nothing for sleep so they doubled it.On this he was disorientated banging into walls and falling so they halved it again.We then went back to having 3 hours sleep per night. In desperation I went back to see the consultant and she decided to half the sertraline and put him back on Trazadone. Omg. He was aggressive abusive threatening and talked and shouted at TV literally all day. After 4 days I got frightened of him and decided to stop them. Today I have been for help and have been told I shouldn't have stopped them so soon! !!. Seems I now have a choice. I put him back on Trazadone, get a good night's sleep but live in fear, leave him off them and survive on 3 hours sleep a night or try antisycotic drugs which I have been told could cause a stroke or heart attack. All I want is a nights sleep. Surely there must be something else we can try but I feel I m being left to get on with it. I really am at rock bottom. Can anyone offer advice. Sorry to go on so much but I m desperate
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,034
Yorkshire
hi Humptydumpty
what a mess, and a scary one for you
I'm surprised at the consultant's reactions to your stopping the meds; you can't live in fear waiting and hoping for the meds to settle your husband - were you given any timescale to work to?
I'm not sure which antipsychotic was suggested, dad takes one (sorry, forgotten at the moment which one) - I decided that him being agitated (in a really bad state, so I sympathise with how your husband has been - though dad was sleeping pretty OK at the time) was a worse situation than any increased risk of stroke and heart attack (being horribly blunt; he has to go some way but I want his living years to be as settled as they can be)
it's tough weighing up what potential risks you can accept - would you be willing to try them and then if your husband settles go for him being calmer and sleeping, so you can also sleep which is vital, here and now?
best wishes
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,563
Ireland
Humpty Dumpty, anti psychotics do carry risks. So does paracetamol, aspirin, basically any medication we take! I had to stop taking one of the most commonly prescribed stomach meds for acid reflux - literally hundreds of thousands of people are apparently taking it with no problems - but I was one of the unfortunate ones who suffered side effects.

My husband was on anti psychotics (risperidone) for over 4 1/2 years, as well as trazadone and a couple of other things. Thankfully, he never suffered any side effects- not everyone does! And his paranoia and hallucinations were such at the time that having discussed the risks, his consultant and I felt that the benefits of achieving some quality of life far outweighed longevity alone.

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lesley1958

Registered User
Mar 24, 2015
107
Bristol
I agree with Shedrech and LadyA re the use of anti-psychotics. Yes, they may carry risks of striokes etc but if they can calm some of the awful agitation and improve the pwd's quality of life then I think they are risks worth taking. My Dad has been on the anti-psychotic respiridone for almost a year now and I think it has helped his agitation and distress, his need to "go home" his belief that people are getting in and stealing things. He also sleeps though most nights. Equally importantly, it has allowed my mum to care for him for another year at home. Early last year before the respiridone I thought we woud have to find a care home - but here we are still coping (just). Bear in mind though that all these drugs take a little while to kick in so the sooner they are started the better if that's the route you decide to go.

I hope you find some help and answers soon.
 

superstar

Registered User
Oct 10, 2013
20
My husband has Alzheimers and is now deteriorating rapidly over the last 12months
We are struggling with medication and I am at my wits end.as well as Donepezil he was taking Trazadone to help him sleep. This worked but then they decided he was depressed so put him on sertralene but then had to come off Trazadone and in its place gave Zopiclone. This did nothing for sleep so they doubled it.On this he was disorientated banging into walls and falling so they halved it again.We then went back to having 3 hours sleep per night. In desperation I went back to see the consultant and she decided to half the sertraline and put him back on Trazadone. Omg. He was aggressive abusive threatening and talked and shouted at TV literally all day. After 4 days I got frightened of him and decided to stop them. Today I have been for help and have been told I shouldn't have stopped them so soon! !!. Seems I now have a choice. I put him back on Trazadone, get a good night's sleep but live in fear, leave him off them and survive on 3 hours sleep a night or try antisycotic drugs which I have been told could cause a stroke or heart attack. All I want is a nights sleep. Surely there must be something else we can try but I feel I m being left to get on with it. I really am at rock bottom. Can anyone offer advice. Sorry to go on so much but I m desperate
Hi my dad had Alzheimer's for years we desperately needed a drug to calm him our GP prescribed promazine which she said the side affects was strokes, but what choice did we have we needed something, he had it in liquid form as he wouldn't take tablets, he didn't die with a stroke,passed away on the 1st Feb this year with late stage dementia, everyone's different x


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alibali2016

Registered User
Jan 24, 2017
40
My Dad gets like that with a urinary track infection. Have you had his urine tested recently? I struggled with the same symptoms for the past year and finally got my Dr to agree to put him on an antibiotic for 3 months because the UTI's were recurring. It's so easy to overlook the urinary track infection when so many other things are going on.
 

Casbow

Registered User
Sep 3, 2013
1,003
Colchester
My husband has been on various anti depressants and anti psychotics for a few years. I find that every new tablet , and then every new change of dose ,causes more and different problems. I wonder why there are so many different kinds. My husband has quetiapine and seems to be ok on them. He is now also on epileptic tablets because of seizures and they seem to be making him very angry/quiet at different times. I think medication has a huge part to play on the way our loved ones react. So maybe its time someone explained why they are all given different types of medication. Just a thought.
 

Rusu

Registered User
Feb 19, 2017
10
I'm amazed I'm replying to a problem on here . We are still in very early stages . My partner has early onset and on of the turning points in diagnosis was his completely irrational temper and agitation. Lack of sleeping. Queitipine is now part of his medication. It is an antipsychotic but definitely balances his mood . If he misses it which is often as he forgets he turns into a swearing, shouting completely unreasonable person . Please don't discount the antipsychotic as it may make life better for both of you . BTW I'm still not coping to well with the above and wish I could find some way of helping him remember his Meds


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LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,563
Ireland
I suppose, Casbow, it's because people react differently to different medications. William was tried on quetiapine first, as it's apparently more easily tolerated and less likely to have side effects. However, it had no affect at all!! He may as well not have been taking it, as his paranoia and hallucinations continued unabated. Xanax (supposed to help calm his extreme agitation and help him sleep) also had no discernible affect. It took months of trial and error before the right combination of meds at the right doses, to get him relief while keeping the risk of side effects as low as possible was found.

Sent from my Moto G Play using Talking Point mobile app
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,563
Ireland
I'm amazed I'm replying to a problem on here . We are still in very early stages . My partner has early onset and on of the turning points in diagnosis was his completely irrational temper and agitation. Lack of sleeping. Queitipine is now part of his medication. It is an antipsychotic but definitely balances his mood . If he misses it which is often as he forgets he turns into a swearing, shouting completely unreasonable person . Please don't discount the antipsychotic as it may make life better for both of you . BTW I'm still not coping to well with the above and wish I could find some way of helping him remember his Meds


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
If he has dementia, he will probably forget more and more often, particularly something newly introduced like a medication. Part of caring is knowing when to start subtly " helping" with things like this, by maybe just giving him his medication and a glass of water at the right time. You could even take your ow "medication" (vitamin pill?) at the same time, so he feels you are BOTH taking more care of your health.

Sent from my Moto G Play using Talking Point mobile app
 

Casbow

Registered User
Sep 3, 2013
1,003
Colchester
Hi there. You could inquire at your doctors surgery as there is a kind of carousal with compartments to put the tablets in and then a timer makes a noise to say its time to take the tablets. I used to have one for my mum who was on her own and never remembered. Or it is possible that they may have a newer invention nowadays. I just started putting my husbands medicine each time it was due, in an egg cup. Gave him that and glass of water and he would take the tablets in one go. x
 

mariobryant

Registered User
Mar 16, 2017
1
My grandfather also had the disease. He needed help to sleep. Helped a little that the doctor wrote a prescription for Zolpidem. To sleep grandpa became easier. It seems to me that in this medication less side effects .
 

Rusu

Registered User
Feb 19, 2017
10
Thank you Lady A and Casbow

Thank you I have only just seen your replies. The medication is a difficult subject in our house . If I suggest he needs to take his tablets he gets angry and says I should take them . We have the dispenser with the days and night / day and he has an alarm on his phone . Unfortunately he mainly ignores the alarm and I have to sneakily checkmif his tablets have been taken . He is resentful and unacceting of the situation so can be very angry at times . We are still early stages but he is becoming more and more withdrawn and unwilling to really have conversation anymore . It's a lonely place for both of us I believe.
 

Rusu

Registered User
Feb 19, 2017
10
Humpty Dumpty

I hope you have managed to get the balance right with your OH medication ?
 

Littlebear

Registered User
Jan 6, 2017
90
My husband was also very aggressive & frightening. Very hard to deal with. However reducing his dose of Donepezil from 10mg to 5mg has made a huge difference. Only the very occasional outburst now & nowhere near as scary. I have however noticed that he has deteriorated in other ways and is doing less which might be the change in Donepezil or just the normal course of things. Most importantly he says he is happier & he certainly does seem more content. Nothing is perfect but it was the right decision for us. Might be worth discussing with your doctor. Good luck. I hope you find an acceptable solution.
 

Greenman

Registered User
Sep 29, 2016
14
East Midlands
My wife went through a phase where she was very aggressive, physically attacking me every night. She was on 10mg of denepozil, when this was changed to memantine the aggression became much less frequent.
 

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