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Old 08-17-2008, 07:09 AM   #1
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Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

Hello,
My mom is 68 and just newly diagnosed, however she has had this disease several years, her doctor and my dad are very placent and my dad was in denial or something. Moms mother had it and died in 2000 at 78, my mom was with it then and was in charge of her mothers care. All of my mothers aunts and uncles 10 of them have or had the disease as well as the generation before them. I never dreamed my mom would get it so young ,she started showing signs around 63. It has progressively gotten worse. She thinks poeple are going to kill her, she called 911 the other nite while my dad was asleep and he awoke with police atthe door and had to explain tothem her condition. She is in bed all the time, is falling all the time.
She recently had a hospital stay and her sundowners was really bad as usual. I discussed with the nurse and we went over her meds that her primary gives her and the nurse told me that some of the meds my mom is on he would never have an alzheimer patient on because it makes them worse.
I have currently taken over administering her meds because she wasdouble dosing all the time.
Currently she is on zetia,aetenlol,boniva,lexapro,ambien,xan ax,percoects 3 times a day,celebrex,potassium.
Does anyone know if this combination could be making things worse. I have been cutting her percocets down slowly to 1 1/2 a day.she was prescribed these years ago for a back surgery and the doctor just never took them away.she has been on xanax for at least 20 years and the ambien for probably 10.
I have talked to her doctor several times regarding getting her on aricept he blows me off but i have been persistant and not gona take no for answer. he says its to late. I just want to at least try it. If it dont work fine.
She is having these periods especially in the evening up to 4 am that she is thinking poeple are in her closet trying to kill her, she is just out there with this stuff and just goes nuts on my dad at times. then there are other times is sweet as syrup. She is in bed most of the day but in the evening is when she is up and down.
Does anyone have suggestions for me regarding possible meds, i will be consulting the doctor next week and want to be prepared.
Thanks in advance,
tami

 
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

HI Tami,

I have heard that sometimes the Alz. drugs can cause horrific diarrhoea so your doctor may be thinking ahead in this case, and not purposefully blowing you off. The drug is only useful in the early stages, mid range is just throwing your money away ....... again, this is only what I've heard.

Quote:
zetia,aetenlol,boniva,lexapro,ambien,xan ax,percoects 3 times a day,celebrex,potassium
When were her last bloods done? What's her potassium levels? That can cause problems if too high/too low. Let's see what she's on: Atenolol is for Blood pressure, Lexapro for Cholesterol, Xanas anti depressant (won't hurt) percocet narcotic pain relief, Zetia is another cholesterol .. does she need two? Celebrex is for arthritis, Boniva is for post menopausal osteoporosis, Ambien is a sleeper .... When WAS a medication review done?

I would question the two cholesterol lowering drugs (are they for the diff. cholesterols or the one and the same??). Surely there must be another pain killer that's not a narcotic she could take ..is she allergic to codeine (or any of the morphines and its derivatives?). The rest looks pretty *average* for an older person, keeping her bones strong, making sure she gets some sleep, making sure she's *happy* (debatable LOL), blood pressure med's, yeah ... nothing there that raises alarm bells.

And remember to remind your mothers doctor of his 'DUTY OF CARE' to his patient to make sure she's taking medication that's to the 'BEST PRACTICE' .. (they don't like those words, it means you know what your talking about and warns them of an impending law suit if they don't play properly).

Research your drugs. Get your own information and arm yourself with knowledge. You can get your mother the best care if you know what ammunition you need. You might want to ask for an anti psychotic like respidol or serenace .. but they are heavy duty drugs and can knock her silly or have other effects. Sometimes the side effects aren't worth the battle, but an anti psychotic will help, I promise.

Her falls could be because of the percocet or paranoia (jumping out of the way of imaginary foe and falling)... or her balance could be affected by an underlying ear infection, or it may just be part of the progression of the disease. *shrug* who knows?

Your other option, nasty as it is, is to make the choice of letting her continue her life saving medication and prolonging an already sad existence that is going to get sadder, or just letting her body do what it needs to do naturally. Hard call. Sorry

:-)
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... your loved one hasn't forgotten you ... the DISEASE doesn't remember you

Last edited by gemini1961; 08-17-2008 at 08:02 AM. Reason: Add more stuff!

 
Old 08-17-2008, 08:12 AM   #3
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

Well said Gemini.... I will add that Mom and Dad's doctor took them both of the cholestol lowering medications. Her statement was, at this point in their lives a drug that is meant for long term effects such as that is not going to have the time to be effective and it does have psychotic side effects in some cases. (I know them too well because I had them all and went off the medication after thinking I was following in Mom's ALZ footsteps)

Mom also had issues with Percocet. She is not restricted to non narcotic medications if at all possible. Ambien is a sleep medication with also has side effects that your Mom might be experiencing.

I am with Gemini, your Mom definitely needs her meds reviewed, not with an eye to what she has been taking but with an eye to what is good for her at this stage of her disease.

As for the Aricept, it won't turn back the clock and only promises to slow the disease in the early stages and it has limited effectiveness. There are side effects to deal with as well so that may be why the doctor is hesitant but he needs to give you a better explination of his thinking so you will not feel blown off.

I'm with Gemini, research all the med side effects and know your Mom's symptoms, then take the facts you have found to your doctor and keep talking until you get satisfaction. Don't stop trying

Good luck.... and I will keep you and your Mom in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, deb

 
Old 08-17-2008, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

Let me tell you about my mother's experience with drugs.

When she had an episode of heart failure in May of 2003, she was put on several heart drugs, a cholesterol reducing drug (statin) although her cholesterol was normal, something to thin the blood, and something to prevent acid reflux which would happen with all these chemicals eating away at her stomach.

Three months later she had her first episode of getting lost, irrational thinking and acting strange. The doc took her off the Statin.

But there was no improvement, only a steady worsening. Later they tried both Aricept (caused non stop diarrhea) and Namenda (no change for good or bad).

Finally in January 2007, a blood test showed that her body was not absorbing anything - neither food, nor the many pills. Since she was not using up the pills in the usual way, she was taken off all of them.

She lived almost another whole year.

My conclusion is that those heart and BP drugs did not really have much if any effect on her heart or life expectancy, and if we had it to do all over again, I would not have given them to her after the heart failure attack.

In the end it was an infection, most likely pneumonia, with a short term very high fever and then death . Not her heart.

One wonders who really benefits from such an arsenal of drugs, outside of the manufacturers....

Please do go and ask for a careful review of all the drugs she is on. Percocet is addictive! It makes a person dizzy, and causes falls. Why would she need that and also a sleeping pill? The percocet alone makes you sleepy. I wonder if several doctors have prescribed these drugs for her without knowing she was taking the others. Why in the world 2 anti cholesterols? I am quite sure that this combination of drugs may be doing her more harm than good. Get a trusted doctor's opinion, as soon as you can. Don't make any changes on your own.

Good luck!

Love,

Martha

 
Old 08-17-2008, 02:41 PM   #5
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

My dad also had horrible hallucinations so they put him on Zyprexa which is an anti-psychotic. It worked for a while which allowed him to stay home for a little longer, but the doctor slowly weaned him off a couple of months ago due to his later stages.

The doctor at the re-hab center is trying to put him on Abilify because they think it will help him understand what they are saying to him. I have my doubts since it has been at least 6 months since he has been able to follow directions or eat on his own. A doctor also put dad on Aricept and Namenda at the early stages of the disease. I do think it slowed the progession for him, but I do not think that is the case for a lot of people. I do not think there is a perfect combination. All we can do is what we think is best for our parent.

 
Old 08-18-2008, 09:28 AM   #6
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

Watch your Mom on the percoset. It's addicting and you need to wean her off of it. I don't remember what strength you said she was taking, but I'm on it and it's nothing to mess around with. I'm surprised that her doctor would just routinly continue to prescribe it. That's a class II narcotic that chronic pain patients have to beg for, and here your mom is one it. <<shaking head in disbelief>>.

You need to hold her doctor's feet to the fire and get your mom's meds straigtened out. Remember, you are her BEST and ONLY advocate. And the one the screams and squeaks get taken care of because the don't like to hear words that have to deal with DEA or lawsuits..

 
Old 08-20-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

Hi,
Thank you so much and on sept 3rd when i take my mom to the doctor he is gona hear me loud and clear. I have been weaning her slowly off percocets so she does not have any withdrawls. I have also ran out of the ambien because before i took over this last month on her meds she was double dosing. I have seen a difference in her sundowners without the ambien that has been an improvement. When she was at the hospital one of the nurses there told me that they do not like to see sundowners patients on ambien and i also consulted a physcologist and they said same thing. so i am going to advice the doctor of that. Hope to get him to finally listen to us.
thanks again,
tami

 
Old 08-20-2008, 09:11 PM   #8
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

You are your Mom's advocate. The only voice she has so make it loud and clear. Your doctor gives you medical advice, not orders, so keep questioning what meds are being taken, searching for the side effects, and being observant of the reactions to the meds. You know much better than the doctor what is going on. The make sure the doctor hears what you already know. This was advice from a doctor I used to have (cried when she left the practice to guess what.... move closer to her Mom who has ALZ) and it has served me well.

I am glad you are seeing an improvement. You are doing good for your Mom. Keep going. Hope the appointment goes well.

Love, deb

 
Old 08-20-2008, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

When I took daddy to the doctor a year ago, he too was on a statin, a blood thinner (previous heart attack - 1989), blood pressure meds and nitro for angina.

When I questioned the need for all these expensive meds - the new doctor I took him to found his cholesterol to be amazingly low and took him off the statin. His blood pressure was in the toilet at 90/45 - took him off the high blood pressure meds. No need for the nitro, and the blood thinner was making him cold.

Now? No meds AT ALL. And he's still alive. How about that?

I think overmedicating our elderly is tantamount to abuse. Pisses me off. Really. So advocate, advocate, advocate. Question EVERYTHING.

...little deb

 
Old 08-21-2008, 05:35 AM   #10
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Re: Help meeting w dr about mothers meds, need advice

The doctors all promise in their Hippocratic Oath to ..."above all, do no harm." Yet, one wonders if all the meds are doing harm. I was just amazed to hear the report from you, Little Deb, about your dad. Overmedication is probably worse than no medication ...

Thanks for this reminder. We get a prescription and thought essly refill it on and on for years and years ...

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 08-21-2008 at 05:35 AM.

 
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