opinions on haloperidol

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by helbo, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. helbo

    helbo Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    14
    My brother in law took MIL to the GP today because of her constant agitation & he has put her on haloperidol. I know this is a sedative, but I am worried now in case she gets unsteady on her pins with it, or even more disorientated. I also really wanted a re referral back to memory clinic for a up to date assessment. My sister in law has just rung to say she's spoken to her on the phone and she says she doesn't know when to take her new tablets or what they are for, when not half an hour before she was telling me what the doctor said and when she has to take them. Any opinions ?
     
  2. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    5,543
    Hi Helbo

    Go see the doctor asap
    It is a disgrace
    Barb X
     
  3. helbo

    helbo Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    14
    I would be there like a shot, but unfortunately we are playing the 'family politics' game at the moment. I'm sure you've all played it. I am a mere daughter in law so am not entitled to an opinion but come in pretty useful when it comes to doing laundry, cooking meals and answering the constant phone calls. Brother in law is ELDEST SON ( a very elevated position) I am married to youngest son so way down on pecking order. Eldest son's wife and son fell out with parents 6 years ago and don't speak to them so he is on his own with this, whereas I support and help my OH 100% therefore we cope better. Middle son tragically died 8 years ago, so widowed daughter in law (who has re married) has strictly speaking no obligations, but supports by phone & a listening ear.Sorry to ramble but I'm sure you agree families play a big part in muddling through the care nightmare. Believe me I could cheerfully throttle him sometimes because he thinks he's in charge of everything when really he copes the least well and has the least knowledge (OH and I are both nurses)
     
  4. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Helbo,
    If MIL is on her own..then she may be at risk taking Haloperidol.
    No point going back to GP..unless to clarify the situation..or complain!

    Contact consultant ASAP..unless MIL is supervised I don't think it's a good idea for her to take Haloperidol while she is alone.

    Love Gigi x
     
  5. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Helbo
    Sorry you're worried about MIL, Barb is right go back to Docs. If you ever not sure about her meds always seek reassurance.
    A gp once prescribed my Dad with meds, when he was trying to live independently with outpatient support from clinic. If Dad had got the prescription and taken the tabs - he'd have died(GP strangely not aware Dad's of sensitivity to them??)
    I kicked up a hell of a stink about that one. GP's aren't gods.

    You can also check up on these things with her pharmacist, that might also be quicker and more straight forward.
    Hope things go ok. Keep us posted
    take care
    hendy
     
  6. helbo

    helbo Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    14
    Thanks for your advice, but consultant what ? As far as I know she's never seen one, or perhaps at memory clinic ? Think I will ring GP on Monday and risk upsetting the apple cart. Unfortunately my OH is a quiet non-confrontational person, and is tending to let BIL make all decsions. He's going to have to toughen up, but he gets defensive if I suggest anything. Oh aren't things hard ? That's a total understatement to all you carers out there who are really in the throes of it. We are just beginning our journey:eek:
     
  7. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Helbo,
    If MIL attends a memory clinic..that is undoubtedly run by a consultant..
    Find out where she goes for Memory Clinic..who is the consultant leading that clinic..phone his secretary
    I know..even those of us who have been on it a while need to ask for support here..don't ever bother about asking..:)

    Love Gigi x
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #8 Margarita, Mar 7, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008

    If you don't mind me saying , could you not ask your BIL to supervise the medication , as my main concern would be that she may forget she taken it , then take another one .

    If she live along you need to get a box or something with a Lock so all medication is store they , then someone can go around each day give it to her .



    When I first took over caring for my mother her medication was all over the place , she never new if she was coming or going with it, if she taken it or not she could of OD herself on them
     
  9. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    7,095
    Bolton
    My husband was prescribed Haloperidol for about a year in total. My honest opinion? It is a very strong drug which did help to alleviate extreme anxiety attacks but at a very high price.

    He began to drool, he often became doubly incontinent, he was very unsteady on his feet and generally confused and disorientated. He was taken off this drug when I found out (from internet trawlings) that Haloperidol could be very dangerous for his type of dementia (Lewy Body Disease).

    Once the drug was stopped he regained periods of lucidity, was more steady on his feet, the drooling stopped, and he was only very occasionally incontinent. No other drug has been effective in 'damping down' his terrible anxiety attacks but this is the 'trade off' price and worth paying to have him free of the dreadful side effects of this drug.

    In my experience it is dangerous for anyone who has dementia forgetfulness to take this drug unsupervised. It does not bear thinking about if they accidentally took an overdose! Also whilst under the effects of the drug, in my opinion, the person needs 24 hour care as they become quite incapable of looking after themselves.

    I do not remember what dosage of the drug my husband was on and of course, I have no knowedge of the differing strengths and what strength your MIL might be on. I can only speak from my own experiences with Haloperidol.

    xxTinaT
     
  10. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Haloperidol is a sedative with profound effects.quite right you are concerned about mobility with this,in my experience it can make people like zombies.trifluoperazine is a calmer and in small doses once or twice daily,has the calming effect without the side effects that haloperidol has.elainex
     
  11. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Hi helbo,

    I totally agree with gigi Tina and Elaine's reply. My mum was given haloperidol at the care home she was given 2.5mg which is not a large dose but because of her dementia it should of being .5mg the side effects were dreadful. 36hrs hrs later she lay in the emergency room having had a terrible fall. 11 days later she returned to the care home.

    Supervise the taking of this medication keep it out of your MIL's reach. If your Mil continues to use this unsupervised there could be dire consequences. The consequences for my mum resulted in a very rapid decline. Maybe, you could let your hubby read these replies. Your MIL is fortunate to have someone like you to be concerned about her welfare. Good luck, Regards Taffy.
     
  12. helbo

    helbo Registered User

    Mar 1, 2008
    14
    Thank you very much for your replies. She has been given 500mcg to take at night. She has been sleeping in the chair for 3 weeks and refuses to go to bed, and had said she doesn't want to go upstairs to the toilet during the night so I am getting her a commode for downstairs on monday. This will hopefully keep her from venturing up and down the stairs when unsteady. This all seems so much worse than I thought.Would it effect her straight away? She took her first one last night and seemed her usual self today. Will show these replies to my 'bury his head in the sand' husband.
     
  13. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,149
    Toronto, Canada
    #13 Canadian Joanne, Mar 9, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
    Ask about another newer drug. Haloperidol is a very old-fashioned drug, which seems to be prescribed by very old-fashioned doctors i.e. they are used to them & chary of prescribing newer ones.

    My mother was on it for her aggression and violence. Did it help? Well, it did slow her down physically so that made things a little easier for the workers in her home (she's in long term care) but I did see her manage to kick a nurse standing behind her. She was pretty much a zombie though. This drug only seems to affect the body and not the mind. She was still agitated but couldn't express it as easily physically. I didn't think this was a good trade-off. So I agitated myself & pushed & nagged for her drugs to be reduced and changed.

    This is a recurring theme with AD also. You will find a drug therapy that works, that keeps your loved one reasonably happy without being knocked out. Six or ten months later, things change as the disease progresses. The drugs need to be tweaked - a slight increase, a decrease, a change of drug.

    Speaking to a pharmacist is an excellent idea - they know far more about drugs & drug interactions than doctor. How about getting a complete list of all the meds you mother is on & going to a pharmacist to go over the list in detail? Book an appointment with one if you have to. Keep yourself informed about the various drugs by going to reputable websites. I have always found this quite useful and accurate: www.mayoclinic.com Granted it is a US website but the Mayo Clinic is highly regarded & their data will be decent.

    The fact that your MIL lives alone is terrifying, frankly. She should be assessed by a dementia specialist because I personally find GPs useless when it comes to AD. They don't know enough & are afraid to trying anything new or makes changes.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  14. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #14 Margarita, Mar 9, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
    They a lot of controversy with giving people theirs type of drugs with AZ so I don't really like to comment about them on TP as I don't like people to get upset if they no alternative but to give them those type of drugs

    But I share my experience my mother use to not sleep , not even sleeping pills would knock her out, as time went on I organized day centre , she was more active during the day so would sleep at night as I felt it was an alternative therapy to drug therapy . she would became aggression and violent to me when I tryed to get her to go to day-center , get her into bed or get her out of bed .

    but I could handle myself with her . going to day center for some unknown reason know to me seem to stop her aggression and violent towards me , may be we just was getting on each other nerves I don't don't , but it stop . and for 2 years she was fine at day centre . now its coming back , but only verbally when I spoke to memory nurse told her she only verbally aggressive now not physical aggressive and I don't want to give her any drugs to control her temper , they said that they can offer my mother another kind of therapy then just drugs

    which I shall find out what when we have a meeting soon .

    Do you have a CPN or a dementia nurse you can talk to to see , if they another alternative therapy to drug therapy , as those drugs are not meat to be given in long team management in behavior therapy for people with dementia , while as they working in the mean time you could be getting advice from other service that they may offer your MIL.

    Just a thought .


    PS

    Don't put commode to hear her , try put it on other side of the room so it encourage her to walk , as I was told that if my mother does not walk a lot the
    legs in her muscle can became very weak and she stop walking sooner then later .
     
  15. Vera

    Vera Registered User

    Oct 3, 2007
    10
    My MIL is in hospital due to recurring falls, 4 in two days. The EMI unit thought she was having TIA's but the hospital say that she is there for a UTI, which has now cleared up. The EMI unit reassesed her last week and said they would not take her back in her current condition, i.e. confused, anxious, crying, continually figeting and not sleeping. The hospital Dr prescribed Haloperidol. She will be reassesed again this week to see if she can return to the EMI unit. Nobody has told us what they think the falls were actually due to, so I hope this sedative doesn't make things worse for her, balance wise. It's good to be alerted to others previous experience.
     
  16. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Helbro

    In my opinion Haloperidol is a terrible drug.

    It might work for some, but when my mother was given it in hospital for severe agitation, she became incontinent, couldn't eat or feed herself, was bent over 90% (I was told this was unusual, normally only stooped from the neck!) lost lots of weight Eventually she couldn't walk or talk. Infact was zombified. The consultant told me she didn't have long.

    Mum was moved to NHS continuing care and Haloperidol has been discontinued, Mum is still incontinent, but can eat a normal diet and feed herself, can walk reasonably upright. She can talk.

    Admittedly, Mum was on a cocktail of other drugs as well, but the definate downward decline was when, she was given Haloperidol.

    Maybe I am wrong, but I thought that Haloperidol was an anti-psychotic drug not a seditive

    Take care
    Alfjess
     
  17. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,149
    Toronto, Canada
    Alfjess, you are correct

    Haloperidol is an antipsychotic drug normally used for schizophrenics. Its use with AD patients is what they refer to as "off-label" i.e not what the drug was developed for. This can be effective but not always.
     
  18. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Joanne

    This drug was definately detrimental in my mothers care and it now scares the living daylights out of me after seeing the effect it had on Mum.

    If my info is correct, it is an old anti-psychotic and there are much newer and better drugs on the market, with fewer side effects, especially in the treatment of dementia, which can help with the same symptoms.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would have objected very strongly about mum being given Haloperidol.

    I am no doctor or expert and I suppose haloperidol helps some.

    I am only giving my experiences of the drug.

    Alfjess
     
  19. merlin

    merlin Registered User

    Aug 2, 2006
    139
    Surrey
    Haloperidol

    Hi Hilbro

    Been there round and back with the dreaded haliperidol. Sent a thread to Alfjess on the same subject ie that the Parkinson and zombie like side effects in my wife's case, were and (fingers crossed) still are being controlled by the use of Procyclidine in conjunction with the Haliperidol.

    Nobody likes to mix drugs but in my wife,s case the aggession was so bad that the caring was suffering as a result and no other meds that were tried seemed to work. I was also fortunate that the home had a doctor with whom I could sensibly discuss the problem and for the moment at least we seem to have found a solution.

    It does seem amazing that such an old drug is still being used, maybe the research is lagging behind!

    Merlin
     
  20. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,149
    Toronto, Canada
    Originally posted by Merlin
    I think you'll find that old drugs are prescribed by old doctors. Plus, as I mentioned early, some (most in my opinion) GPs are not up-to-date on drugs & fall back on the old, not so reliable, ones.

    My mother was also extremely violent and aggressive and put on haloperidol and became a zombie. We did find another drug which reduced her agitation and aggression without turning her into a zombie. We now use a combination of tradazone and quetiapine. She was on a real cocktail of drugs but I'm gradually whittling away at them.
     

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