“Med changes are always a coin toss. Sometimes they really upset the apple cart. In fact, the [house] doc had increased one dosage from 0.5 mg to 1.0 mg a couple of weeks ago and it wreaked absolute havoc on her. She did nothing but sit and stare into space during waking hours, wasn’t eating, had no reaction when Jess or I walked in, and was completely non-verbal…”
The above snippet is from a post I wrote in 2011, and the drug mentioned was risperdal.
I’ll forever wonder how much more harm than good was done by the various and assorted medications Mom was given over the course of her battle with Alzheimer’s. Once it was clear that Aricept was no longer doing a damn thing, prescribing medications to control worsening symptoms was nothing more than a crap shoot.
Warning: Steep Drop Ahead
Psychotropic drugs are a slippery slope. Anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, mood stabilizers. Can you imagine what the various and assorted combinations, not to mention constant changes, are doing to our loved ones?
Depakote, Risperdal, Ativan, Lexapro, Buspar, Celexa, Zyprexa, trazodone, and the most dreaded Haldol. Just a sampling of the psych drugs mom was on at one time or another.
It’s the classic chicken and egg; the symptoms and behaviors worsen and a drug is prescribed. It works for awhile, then seems to lose its effect so they try something else. The cycle continues. At what point do the drugs become a major part of the problem instead of part of the solution?
All in the Name of Profit
One of the most disturbing notions is the increasingly “acceptable” off-label use of these drugs.
Susan Macaulay recently wrote several articles on this very topic. The information shared is absolutely appalling, and underscores the reason our drug companies are often looked upon with such mistrust and even disgust. Sadly, as illustrated by the 2008 UK report Susan references, this is also nothing new.
At a minimum, we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to be informed – thank you, Susan, for compiling this important material.
Susan Macaulay cares for her mother who is living with Alzheimer’s and is a recognized dementia care expert. Macaulay is creator and curator of SheQuotes, My Alzheimer’s Story, Amazing Women Rock, AmazingSusan.com, and Succeed With Susan. She is a feminist, global citizen, lifelong learner and the author of Everyday Feminine Wisdom and soon-to-be-published “the dogs’ breakfast.”