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Shingles and antivirals

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by nellen, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. nellen

    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.
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,536
    Female
    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.
     
  3. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    10,658
    North West
    Most likely to be the pain I would think. Do you know which anti-viral has been prescribed?
     
  4. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    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
     
  5. Janjorie

    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.
     
  6. nellen

    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.
     
  7. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    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
     
  8. Nipper2011

    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.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     

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