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Shingles and antivirals

nellen

Registered User
Mar 17, 2009
96
Derbyshire
Further to previous postings about my mums stay in hospital she now has shingles and I'm wondering if the antiviral medication can exacerbate her dementia symptoms, does anyone know?
Yesterday I went to see her and she was incoherent, couldn't put a sentence together, rambling about something - it was like this "I said..........I said .....then, nellen, she said.....and I said." Big gaps where she either lost track of what she was going to say. Or just couldn't remember it. She was twitching and sort of chewing, sucking her gums and her eyes weren't focusing much. She was also saying she's cold and had 4 blankets on her. I was very upset and got the sister to come and see her, she listened to her and thought it was the effect of the antiviral meds.

She's not eating or drinking either, although I usually manage to get a small carton of plain yoghurt into her and as much water as she'll take.

I don't know if this is a general decline in her dementia or a temporary set back
Has anyone any experience of this?

I'll be up to see her today again and see if she's improved or not.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,605
South coast
Oh nellen, Im so sorry your mum has got shingles. My mum had this pre-dementia and she said it was the most painful thing she had ever had. AFAIK anti-virals are like antibiotics and dont make the dementia worse, but any infection makes dementia symptoms far, far worse and if there is pain in the mix Im not surprised that she is having problems.
 

sistermillicent

Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
2,949
I would think it is the shingles making the dementia worse, be glad she has had antivirals early on in the infection, my dad had shingles and didn't get them, he was not only paralysed down one side by it but has been in quite bad pain as a result ever since, and he had it about 15 years ago. edited to say the paralysis went after a few months
 

Janjorie

Registered User
Feb 2, 2014
4
Hertfordshire
My mother has recently suffered from shingles, following on from a urine infection. While ill with both she was bed bound at home and her dementia became frighteningly worse and, although she has now recovered physically, she remains more confused and agitated than she was previously. Mum was taking Acyclovir anti viral but I think it was the illness rather than the mediation that had such a dramatic effect on her dementia. Good luck with your mum's recovery.
 

nellen

Registered User
Mar 17, 2009
96
Derbyshire
I'm just back from seeing mum. Thanks for all your replies. So far, Saturday and Sunday she seemed ok a bit weak and a bit confused but quite cheerful yesterday and today she's been confused, muddled and very tired - losing track of her thoughts and unable to verbalise them as full sentences. It's so sad and very upsetting. Today she was sick and vomiting too, so the doctor was putting her on an anti sickness drip. I don't know if it's the shingles making her like this or the antivirals.
 

sistermillicent

Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
2,949
The antivirals are no fun to take. they can make you feel horrible. I hope your mum is feeling better soon, shingles is a much underestimated illness. take care x
 

Nipper2011

Registered User
Jul 7, 2015
2
Hi. Just been reading your post and responses, my mum recently had shingles and medication, apart from the medication interfering with her Warfarin, so trips back and fourth for INR's I found that the chemical balance of her normal medication was disrupted by having to take the extra medication, once she had finished the course the chemical balance returned to normal and everything went back to pre shingles.


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