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Risperidone and olanzapine

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Ruthie, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    South Coast
    It's well worth a look at the main Alzheimers Society website where there is a news item about the ruling of the Committee on Safety of Medicines which has decided that the neuroleptic drugs Risperidone and olanzapine should not be used for the treatment of behavioural symptoms in people with dementia and in older people who have experienced stroke or are at risk of stroke.

    The Society has also produced information sheets for people with dementia and their carers and for care staff giving more information about the decision.

    It's ironic that earlier this evening I posted a message in another thread which included mention of my husband's deterioration since he has been taking medications which include Risperidone - I didn't see the CSM information until after I'd made that posting.

    Quite what the implications are in practice remain to be seen, and it will be interesting to hear the reaction of hospital and care home staff to the news. I will be revisiting this issue with my husband's consultant as soon as possible, as I have become increasingly unhappy about the effect that Risperidone seems to be having on my husband.

    Would like to hear reactions about this from other forum members please.

  2. april

    april Registered User

    Feb 5, 2004
    Thanks Ruthie for bringing this to our attention.

    Risperdone was prescibed for my husband to help with his restless agitated behaviour. He is 65 and has had AD for 8 years or more. A scan last year showed evidence of vascular dementia which links with strokes so I shall be keenly looking into all this recent information about neuroleptic drugs.

    Next week we are due to see the consultant regarding the increased dosage of Aricept we have been trying for 3 months, and I shall discuss all the medication which is being presently prescibed.

    At the moment I am trying homeopathic medicine too, for both my husband and myself.
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Jan was variously on Risperidone and Olanzapine during a long period, and there does seem to have been more than an element of stroke type effects. Whether that is cause or result is unknown to me.
  4. Jackie

    Jackie Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003

    My mum has been on Risperidone for over a year to help combat her behavioual problems, (she started to get agressive towards other residents) and I have told the home to take Mum off Risperidone and if totally necessary find an alternative!

    It will be interesting to see if there will be any change!
  5. janey21

    janey21 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2004
    regarding the drugs risperidone and olanzapine i live with and care for along with my mother for my grandfather who has zlzhiemers and vascular dementia. my mam has two brothers and a sister who dont help us in any way ir form with the care so we have to have regular respite in order for ourselves to have a break. as my grandad has had very bad side effects and been very agressive through previous medication such as diazepam which was giving to him in a care home we decided and were advised by the pscychiatric doctor to put him in what you call a continuing care unit for respite for mental health from the health sector rather than social services. anyway we were assured that he wouldnt be given any drugs to calm his agitation as he has very bad effects from them. we put him in at new year and we went away. when we came back we were astonished at the state of my grandfather. they had given him olanzapine and also another drug as well even after our specific concerns. he was knoked out in bed and basically looked dead, shall i say. he then came round gradually but his mental state was far wrose than what it was when put him in as sometimes he is very lucid mpore often then none aswell. as he was knocked out for all this time various other factors appeared, the fact that he lost weight, dyhydrated, heel sores off been inmobile. in the end he was transferred to the general hospital wher we live as he was very dehydrated and back to lying in bed and not being respnsive. he needed an IV drip as he was going to go into hypo-glycemia coma and remember this is all due to the medication that he was given. what we also found out at the hospital that due to the heel sores which remember were due to inmobility he had a very extensive blood clot from his left leg leading all the way to the abdomin. well me and mam dont feel like we have had a holiday!! anyway, that was in january and we have just had him back home for a week now all that tim now he is back to normal, well as normal as he can be ha!

    so my thoughts are, A- thank god that those drugs are not to bee allowed and B- what rest does the carer get like my self when you put the patient into proper professional places and things go wrong like that, my head is frazzled and i am so worried bout the next time when i out my grandad in respite. no one can give him the care that he recieves from myself and my mam..
  6. Allie

    Allie Registered User

    Mar 16, 2004
    South Coast


    I'm new to this site, but was looking for info on Risperidone. My mum has "officially" had Alzheimers for 8 years now since she was 55, although it had been going on for years before that (diagnosed as depression) Towards the end of last year she was put on Risperidone for agressive behaviour. Since Christmas she has almost bent double, won't raise her head and her neck muscles seem very stiff. She shuffles along and is unsteady and when sitting moves her legs constantly. I have heard that Risperidone can cause some of these symptoms and wondered if anyone had any experience or whether this is just progression of the disease? We have tried taking her off it but she then won't sleep through the night (despite being on a sleeping tablet)

    Yours views, and any ideas, would be much appreciated!

  7. janemary

    janemary Registered User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Thanks for the information. It came just in time for my husband's Review at the hospital. They had also got the information! and had changed his medication. I was glad I was so well informed and knew what it was all about. Thanks again. Jane
  8. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    South Coast
    Stooping and shuffling

    Dear Allie

    Sorry I didn't get back on this sooner. My husband (aged 60) has been in hospital since the end of last year, on Risperidone for aggessive behaviour, and is shuffling and stooping over, also seems very stiff around the neck and shoulders. He walked normally before. He has also become doubly incontinent since he has been on it, and I also think he has been more confused, but that may be just the progress of the disease - who knows?

    At a care policy review meeting about a month ago the Consultant said that I must be very distressed to find that they had "aged him by 20 years since Christmas" to which I could only agree! It was agreed at that meeting that they would try to reduce the dosage of Risperidone by 20%, which they have done, and he seems a little more "with it" and responsive, and is walking a bit better, but is more aggresive at times (towards the nursing staff when they try to help him dress etc). I think over the last week or 10 days the incontinence hasn't been so much of a problem, but maybe it's happening when I'm not there.

    Had a long conversation on the phone with the Consultant last Friday when I asked what would happen about the new ruling on Risperidone. I was told that my husband was not "elderly" and therefore the risk of CVA/strokes was not so high anyway, and as there was no real alternative they would continue to give the Risperidone as otherwise it would be very difficult to care for him. I can see the problem, but the situation is a real concern.

    I mentioned aromatherapy to the nurses and was told that they are not allowed to use it in the NHS as it can conflict with other medications. Interesting, as I'm sure many people including doctors would dismiss aromatherapy as totally ineffective. I did use lavender oil in an oil burner when my husband was at home and felt that it had a noticeable calming effect - I used to light it at about 3pm when the sundowning started. It certainly used to calm me down, anyway!

    Would like to hear more views on this topic, please.

    Best wishes

  9. janemary

    janemary Registered User

    Feb 1, 2004
    Hello Ruthie - The consultant at my husband's review on Wednesday gave a very different response and said that Philip was taken off risperidone immediately they had the information and they are trying salponide (?) (must look it upand get the correct name) to help with his aggressive behaviour. He is only just 65 and has been classified as early onset dementia up till now. Also the comment about aromotherapy could be challenged I think. I know of patients who have received "alternative" therapies in NHS hospitals and my daughter's friend is working with the NHS to produce a training manual for NHS staff to tie in complementary therapies with conventional medicine. I'll try and get some more information from her. It's difficult questioning
    consultants without feeling that you are being difficult, isn't it? Hope you are OK. Best wishes Jane
  10. april

    april Registered User

    Feb 5, 2004

    Hello all fellowcarers

    Like Jane I was grateful for having the information before our visit to the Consultant last week. The new guide lines had already filtered through the system and he told us that the Risperdone would not be continued but no alternative was offered. My husband has only been on 0.5mg, the smallest dosage, from the end of last year. Withdrawal from it may perhaps not be as drastic as if he had been on a higher dosage, but what are we left with? It is really difficult to cope with the behavioural problems, isn't it?

    The Consultant actually suggested that we use aromotherapy aids such as lavender and lemon balm. I am all for alternative medicines. We have tried aromotherapy oils in the past and just finishing a course of homeopathic and Australian flower essences. Trying anything that gives hope of easing the terrible effects of dementia but I cannot report having found anything that will produce any significant changes in behaviour and the constant muttering (which is really wearing me down at the moment).

    We are taking a week's respite care next week, also I think I have reached the point where I am considering long term care. I will be interested in any information Jane can find regarding the use of complementary therapies in the NHS. I shall ask at the Home tomorrow, they may have guidelines from the NHS or they may have their own policies.

    Thanks and best wishes
  11. kate34

    kate34 Registered User

    Sep 23, 2003
    Dad is on Risperidone too

    HI all
    My Dad and indeed most of the residents in his private nursing home are on Risperidone. I dont know what will happen now, I have mentioned the worries about the drug to one of the nurses and forgot to tell them about the CSM ruling? is it a ruling? what will they use instead?
    Dad has now been taken off all his medicines and I am due to visit him tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what change there has been, although the staff say there hasnt been a great difference, he was dribbling quite a bit the past couple of visits and very very sleepy
    will watch and wait I guess.
    ps i hope my couple of postings on the 'visiting' item hasnt upset anyone, it was more of a letting off steam posting than anything else, I guess we will be working through a maze of feelings and emotions for some time to come yet

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