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Over use of pain meds

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Weather, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. Weather

    Weather Registered User

    Sep 2, 2015
    14
    My mother has been over using pain meds for years for a back problem. She is early to mid stage living at home and copes well generally with care assistants giving meds 3 times a day.
    We are having real problems with her pain meds which as prescribed as when required. So we cant have carer dispense as they come less than 4 hours apart. Often mum needs pain meds during night when we arent at home. Next morning she has had two days worth as she takes them goes back to sleep wake up forgetting when when she has took them. Pharmavy and doctors reluctant to let care aassista.t to.
    At wits end .they days she takes them all she dazed.
    Any one
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    I'm wondering if a medication dispenser (such as the pivotell or similar) might work? That holds onto the meds until a predetermined time. So she won't be able to get to them too early but they will be available when there isn't a carer to administer them.

    Actually I think you should try this: the whole deal with pain meds is that they need to be administered on a regular basis to work properly: expecting anyone to go 8 hours or more without their meds is likely to cause break through pain which could be eliminated with a regular schedule.
     
  3. Weather

    Weather Registered User

    Sep 2, 2015
    14
    #3 Weather, Sep 3, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
    Thanks we did try this in a pretty basic one but she ended up doing was forgoting to take the tablets at say 12 and then coming across them at 2pm taking them, next teminder at 4 taking them whether in pain or not then feeling unwell as she had taken too many.
    Ideally we would need a box that would only release 4 hours after the previous one.
    Any one know of one ?
     
  4. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    I think that is going to e pretty difficult to find. It would have to be a sophisticated bit of kit
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    Hmm - so rather than a unit that spits out the meds at say 8, and then spits out another dose at 12, even if the 8 ones haven't been taken, it sounds to me as if you need a unit which is prepared to dispense medication at a specific time, but doesn't actually do it without the user doing something, and then when they remove the meds it resets itself 4 hours hence, rather than working on a strict time schedule.

    I'm not sure if any of the dispensers do exactly that, but some of them do lock after a predetermined time (if the meds haven't been taken) so avoid the double dosing situation. E.g.

     
  6. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    That sort of dispenser would be very useful - I wonder if this has ever been suggested to any of the techy designer guys that post on here asking what would help.

    It's a very difficult problem. I forget/unable to take my painkillers when I am bad then the situation easily gets worse.

    Could the carers Leave a big notice saying next medicines due at xxx ?. I try and do this for my friend over the phone, get her to write the time down so she knows not to take before. I know this wont necessarily work but if they got into a routine doing it maybe it would?

    Best wishes
    Sue:)
     
  7. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    514
    There are a few timer medication products like these, but would your mum be able to learn how to use them?
    http://www.dudleyhunt.co.uk/products/1/alarm_pill_reminder.aspx

    Or how about a smart phone, which you would leave on all the time and put next to the pill box, and set it up with an alarm at four hour intervals.
     
  8. Weather

    Weather Registered User

    Sep 2, 2015
    14
    Thats it exactly. I am sure she cant be the only one like this. But havent found anything on the market yet.
    Maybe should patent it,make my fortune , employ a full time carer and move to the tropics.
     
  9. Weather

    Weather Registered User

    Sep 2, 2015
    14
    This used to wotk for her. We would leave meds out with time to be taken beside each one and she would write the time beside it from the clock beside the pill box. Recently she has lost the ability to tell the time and cant track how long its been. She eats her breakfast and an hour or so later making lunch as she thinks more time has passed. So was taking lunch meds after breakfast before first ones started. It worked well for a while.
    When your in pain time goes slowly and I know she is more confused when she is in pain and not sleeping nocks her off her A Game
     
  10. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    One of the pivotell ones will send a text messages if medication isn't taken at the right time so you then call her. I don't know if that would help?
     
  11. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    514
    If she takes medication four times a day, could you maybe work it out so that one or two times coincide with the carers visits and can be supervised, then she could have access to only enough pills for the rest of the day and leave the night time ones in a timed pill dispenser so she can't get to them too early.
     
  12. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    483
    Essex
    Instead of taking tablets, would it be possible for your Mum to have a patch instead and have the drug released continually but in a lower dose?
     
  13. Weather

    Weather Registered User

    Sep 2, 2015
    14
    Thanks i tried to get hold of her doc to change perscription to allow carers to give tablets. This would at least lower risk of her over dosing
     
  14. Weather

    Weather Registered User

    Sep 2, 2015
    14
    I didnt know there was such a thing. Doc and pharmasist have never suggested it. Would be the safest way to do it.
    Willlook into it. Thank you for every ones help
     
  15. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,163
    Pain relief

    Had this problem with the FiL he nearly killed himself with paracetamol and codeine!
    Our solution was pain relief patches, there are several different types, and strengths, it's trial and error which suit best, but they do work, if left on and changed regularly.
    Once a dependency on pain relief pills is started, then they must be kept under lock and key, and supervised, either by carers coming in, at the correct intervals, or a strong minded family member.
    When we asked, pharmacies would not refill the automatic pill dispensers, (something to do with not being able to put the individual labels on.)

    Get the medication reviewed by the GP, taking into account any over the counter medications being used.

    FiL gave himself an ulcer, due to excess pain relief. Didn't know he had, no pain!
    Only by chance it was found.

    Pain relief, particularly codeine is addictive, be very careful, if the person does not understand, then strong control must be put in place.

    Bod
     
  16. Weather

    Weather Registered User

    Sep 2, 2015
    14
    She had a stomach ulcer a few years ago too with over use of over the counter stuff. Now she isny able to shop on her own and we have warned all neighbours and friends not give her any.

    Will definatley give doctors a call to try pain pads.
     

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