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nhalle, interesting. My husband did extremely well on seroquel, and aricept is more effective in LBD than in the disease it was developed for (Alzheimer's). I'd urge you to change doctors. LBD is one of the more treatable dementias (that is, the symptoms) IF you have a doctor who understands it!

I hope your mother does a little better now. Keep in touch!
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And by the way, she was already better this morning. Still weak, but better.
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Thank you for the responses. Yesterday morning I phoned her and she was completely out of it again so the home and I decided that we would send her to the hospital by ambulance. She was seen by the geriatrician who is in charge while her other doctor is on vacation. She mentioned that it was probably the Haldol since she thought she might have LBD! From what I have read on it so far it looks like it is often misdiagnosed. I will be speaking to her doctor when she will return about the fact that they would tell me it couldn't be her meds. They have taken her off the Haldol and will be giving her only a small dose of Seroquel at night to help her sleep. They will also be putting her on Aricept patch. She took Aricept in the past and it really helped but she had awful cramps so we took her off. the patch apparently has less side effects. Hopefully this will help. I just want her to be happy for the time she has left. But I guess we all want that.
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My husband carried a wallet card (and I carried one in my purse) warning to NEVER give him haldol for any reason. He had Lewy Body Dementia and that is known to react very badly with that drug. The problem is, LBD is often not diagnosed correctly or early, so many people with dementia may have that type without even knowing it, let alone without carrying a card!

My husband's geriatrician was very against haldol in emergency room situations. She thought it should simply be banned by law. There are less risky things to try, in her opinion.

When hospice was explaining to me what would be in med kit they provided, I told them I would not use the haldol. Why risk having my husband's last days be horrid from that? I showed her the card (provided by the Lewy Body Association). She said the kit may have to contain it but I didn't have to use it. The kit came without it. I was happy for their sensitivity.

What kind of doctor has your mother on Haldol? A behavioral neurologist? A geriatric psychiatrist? Has she been examined by such specialists? I would not continue on with a drug like this without having specialists involved.
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There should ALWAYS be someone covering when the primary doctor is away. This sounds like a case for evaluation for drug-induced Parkinson's and Rx with Cogentin, versus new neurologic deficits, and I do not think they can rule out Haldol side effects without someone checking on her tone and tremor. Yes, especially in the elderly, a dose that small could well be the culprit. I have been amazed how easily some people miss this totally on exam though. The classic cogwheeling rigidity is easy to feel and find if you know what you are looking for. Maybe insist on a neurologist visit, ideally a geriatric one if you can't get help otherwise. That said, a request to "take her off all meds" may not be well received simply because there are probably legitimate needs for some treatment of troublesome symptoms or nothing would have been started in the first place.
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I am really torn about Haldol . My 89 year old mother starting taking Citalopram in June for anxiety and depression but when the dose went up it took 2 weeks and she completely changed. They say it caused a delirium. She suddenly could not dial the phone and was confused. They took her off that slowly and gave her Riperdal for about a month. They said it wasn't working because she was still confused and aggitated and had a couple of halucinations. She was depressed and completley confused. My mother has always been a nervous person but they don't seem to take that into account. Now they have her on Haldol and it's even worse. 0.5 in the morning and at night . She is not doing well at all and is very weak and trembles in the morning. I am trying to have them take her off all meds but nobody wants to listen to me. They keep telling me that it's impossible that it's the Haldol. Why won't they at least try to take her off the Haldol?? Her doctor is on vacation for another 10 days and it seems nobody is left in charge! I feel so helpless!
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Haldol probably has the highest incidence of drug-induced Parkinsonism af all the antipsychotics, but they can all cause it, and sometimes in suprisingly low doses. If a person genuinely needs it for psychosis, it is possible to add Cogentin and/or Sinemet to counteract this side effect, but it is not a good first go-to drug for people with dementia, sleep, anixety, or depression. Just my $0.02. I would not say NEVER use it, but don't use it throughtlessly or routinely. The literature supports increased mortality with it for elders.
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My spouse was taken to ER and was given haldol for his agitation, he was like a zombie when he returned to his memory care unit. He couldn't walk , feed himself. You have to be on top of things because I found out that is the first drug administered if they are agitated or agressive. Never again, he hasn't been the same since then. By all means, do not, do not let them give your loved one haldol!
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So I have to say that I shouldn't have said it is NEVER helpful!

I retract my statement and amend it to "Not often helpful.'
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Well, in your mother's case, Cap'n...it is given appropriately because that is what the drug is for in the first place. It isn't being used as a 'chemical restraint' nor is it for anyone's convenience even your own. It is for her mental function and hopefully stabilizes psychotic symptoms. Which is does seem to be doing and I'm glad for that because I don't know how you do it.
If she isn't sedated it is because she's getting the right amount and for the right reasons.
I'm glad you brought all that up.

24 years ago, when I first worked in nursing as an aide at a local NH, they used chemical and physical restraints on anyone who was unruly (aka unsafe). Haldol was used excessively. It causes terrible long term side effects when it isn't used properly. 99% of the time, I suspect it isn't necessary. The Captain's mother fits in the other 1%. Just my .02 from personal experience.
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if haldol causes my mother a cardiac arrest or stroke in a matter of weeks im saying it will be a comfortable few weeks for her. noone can live for long in a constant state of paranoid schitzophrenia. she will be given monthly injections of time release haldol and so far i have seen no ill side effects aside from maybe losing some muscle tone. she probably doesnt have long to live and this is one comfort measure that was nothing short of a miracle for her. you have to understand that she was seeing a torrent of water coming down the yard from a broken water main, there were a crew of men in the home cutting holes thru the walls, i was an imposter, trying to kill her and stealing her money. the saddest event was the night she believed if her couple of missing pills werent located she only had 10 to 15 minutes to live. she went to lie in bed crying cause she was going to die in 10 minutes. very heartbreaking for both of us. haldol in gentle amounts is miraculous. she doesnt appear overly sedated just sane.. in fact she realizes the horror that haldol pulled her out of and is grateful for it..
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NOT helpful. Ever.

It is damaging both short- and long-term.

It is classified as a 'chemical restraint' drug. So is Ativan.

Just Google 'chemical restraint haldol' and read what comes up from reputable sites.

"Under federal law, nursing home residents have the right to be free from any physical or chemical restraints imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience and not required to treat the resident’s medical symptoms.

Chemical restraints are defined as any drug that is used for discipline or convenience and not required to treat medical symptoms.

In some cases, as a result of understaffing, drugs such as Haldol, are used to control residents with a history of falls, psychosis, and dementia.

Use of chemical restraints for the convenience of the staff may result in a host of injuries, including depression, falls resulting in fractures, bedsores, constipation, contractions, loss of dignity and death."

That is from an online legal site and I know that it is true.
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i agree- there is no one thing that will work for everyone-
but haldol and other anti psy. are not recommended for the elderly- and not for long term use-
and r used too often ---
im glad it worked for your mom-
how long was she one it?
do u know the dose and how often?
be well
k
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I think it is wrong to think one thing that works for one person will not work on another. haldol was the only thing that help my Mother
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I'm tossed and torn too! My Moms dementia has vastly increased her decline in the past 2 mos. Mom was in a constant state of agitaion, worrying, getting up and falling several times a day. Memory meds, depression meds, checked UTI's, ripped out bed and chair alarms, redirection, music therapy, calm talking nothing was helping anymore I asked for restraints but its not allowed in TX but they did try a lap buddy and that cause her more anxiety. I asked for a low dosage of Haldol, we had tried a few others and they only increased her anxiety, shakes, and halucinations. The Haldol makes her drowsy but she's not getting up and falling, stressing herself, dad and her care givers out. When Mom is awake, dementia is there not her, when Mom is asleep, at least her body is resting. This is what I tell myslef to keep from crying and fending guilt off day and night. I'm beginning to think I am selfish for trying to keep her here no matter what.
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I dont know what recourse we can take-
im sorry about your mom-
i try to keep talking- i keep asking and complaining-
i think out of frustration- because there seems to be some kind of crazy or troublesome or some negitive label that u get if u should disagree with the "doctors" they are the
god like creatures who have answers to all questions-u know thoses guys who think they walk on water???? trouble is
they dont know everything no one does, and when they stop listening to other opinions, even if not professional- thats where
a red flag should wave- and we should recognise it...
sometimes i think they dont reall know what to do either-its a choice of the least harmful drug- no one has the time to deal with the person, who is confused,frightened and so to subdue is the easiest and most managable- not necessarily the best
answer- i so frustrated- i send u hugs- i am interested in this subject
since it seems to be such an easy fix for the doctors to prescribe- i can understand how they can ignore what we
see-in behavior- i am just sad and disgusted- if u get any more info please share it- and i will do the same- maybe someone will hear us-
god bless and lots of hugs and comfort-mom is not far away- they never leave us-not completely-
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My mother was given Haldol 3 days before she died. This was four months ago. I didn't know what it was, I was in shock that she was doing so poorly, I didn't know how to help. I can't even express how much I regret not being informed. But I believe it shouldn't have been given to her, given that she was already experiencing dementia, and low magnesium levels, two things, which, according to what i've read, can lead to death if Haldol is taken. I am certain Haldol brought about an earlier death for her. Do we have any recourse???
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Im sorry about your mom,we are aware of what is going to eventually happen, but when it does, it hurts so much..
I know exactly what u mean- haldol is a very strong and dangerous drug-
i think it is givien because the staff-in hospitals,nursinghomes,
are trying to "quiet" them down,
because they are behaving exactly the way we would if we were in our moms place.
of course she is eling, hiting,biting,being nasty- she is confused,frustrated,she cant say verbaluy
waht she is thinking in her ind-people are talking over you- like u are not there- taking more and ore of your dignity ,selfrespect and all control away.
i think it is such a mistake to just subdue- why are they acting that way?is what they shouldbe working on- how loud are the staff around her sounding- has anyone taken the time to treat her like a human being-
u know, no matter how far they are into their disease, they do not lose their emotions!!!!!it infuriates me-
and if u try and explain how this is not the way to do it-
well u are looked at as some idiot- then they begin to leave u out of the "decision makers" circle.
as family memebers, we should know ,be told, what meds they take,how much,how often ,how long-
this is one topic that really needs to be dealt with.
i could go on about medications and their overuse-
or rather the use of them to quiet down human beings who just
are tring to deal with this disease-
now i know this isnt something many agree on- but as far as im concerned- i am still aking a fuss- and having a tough time-
they took her off haldol and immediatley put her on another antipsycotic- this one is just as bad.
as a matter a fact, when i called yesterday, the nurse actually said "oh the medicine is working, she has been very good today, quiet, not a peep" what the hell is wrong with this sorry
excuse for a nurse? i am so angry..i cant even begin to explain.
i send u hugggggggs, and your mom is not far away, and is most likely in better shape than u or me. she will always be around-
at least that is what i believe-
i send u peaceful energy-and vent away --karen
ever think of making some kind of legal complaint or writing an article? or something like that?
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I lost my mother to Alzheimer's just over a month ago, and when my family received the prescription list (final bill) from the nursing home, Haldol was listed. We have no idea how often it was given, only that on the list it said 2milligrams. My mother, in her last 3-4 weeks, was almost in a comatose state. She didn't talk or even move on her own and slept almost all the time. The closest thing I ever saw to "agitation" was occasionally raising her arm up and down. If this drug is used to calm patients down, I can't for the life of me see why my mother would need that! The nurses at the nursing home only told us (after Mom's death...and us asking why she was prescribed Halodol) that they use it for anxiety in near death situations. And now after everything I've been reading about the drug, I'm afraid that it might have brought about an earlier death.
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Krnhirsh, I don't exactly remember the name of the anti-depressant my mother was given. There are so many new ones out. But I have learned from this form, and from reading ads in magazine, that there are a lot of psychiatric medications that say they should not be given to seniors with confusion, dementia, diabetis, heart disease, etc, that they could cause death.
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i dont have POA either, but i did some research and found that
you can get a form for medical POA, and it is legal,but it needs to be signed by your parent, and witnessed by 2 other people-
as long as he/she is still able to understand what they are signing,
it should help. I am in the process of doing this very same thing. U can find the
documents under legacywriter or legaldocs.
i want to get my mom off of haldol asap-no luck yet-but still trying..
good luck to you-
this is such a difficult time in life..
God Bless..
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Haldol can possibly be of help in treating severe cases of psychosis-----but on the flip side can be danegrous for a person with dementia. You need to check with your physician or pharmacy tech-if this med is right for the person you have in mind, as everyone is different/ and there is no clear cut reply, in my estimation.
Best,
Hap
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No, I wanted to send him to the hospital and could have, but the daughter talked me into (I WAS IN SHOCK, still am) taking him in his room and medicating him (with help from a local GP) for 3 days...after the 3 days, she had had it! They took him to a hospital and he had had a stroke, now we find out also vascular dementia....yeah, I need POA, but they got in there (these are HIS children) and had him sign one when he was not terribly demented....Thank you for your thoughts....That's why I keep telling everyone with step children involved GET POAs before something happens....Bless us all...!
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SLoegin: you are his wife and have no say? Is the daughter "your and his" daughter? If not, I am so sorry. If it is, get MEDICAL POA for your husband!! I thought the 'wife' would have say in her husbands medical/financial affairs!! OMG, my heart goes out to you. God Bless
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I have no good things to say about haldol either. It did quiet my husband when he had a full blown psychotic attack...but the next morning when it wore off, he had another one! His daughter kept him in our room for 3 days administering the drug plus whatever else...(I had no say either! she is a nurse)...He has since been placed on dementia type drugs (can't think of the names now) and an anti psychotic, but not haldol...he is still in the hosptial now he has staph and doc said he is septic? Anyway, going to the hospital would have been the correct procedure, not sure 4 days of haldol did him any good without a proper diagnosis....but, who am I? Just the wife!
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Haldol is a VERY dangerous drug (in my humble opinion). I truly believe it was the 'beginning of the end' for my mother. Rather than address the 'issues of agitation' that elders with Alzheimer's have, doctors give HALDOL, and it is the most destructive drug they could have put my mother on. But I didn't have MEDICAL power of attorney, so there was nothing I could do about it. I voiced my objections, again and again, but it did not make a difference. Even a single dose can take MONTHS to recover from, and unfortunately my mother never did.

Do some research on this drug. Avoid it if you can. "Behavioral changes" are to be expected, but if they are not addressed even HALDOL won't change the behavior.

Discuss OTHER options with the doctors. I am still waiting to read about GOOD experiences with HALDOL!!!
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thanks- i have heard similarstories from many people-
but at my moms visit to the doctor , they increased her dose,
because of her agitation etc, i dont think that was the best
decision, but who am i? just the daughter..but i am still
a thorn in everyones side-and keep objecting= i guess i have
to work on my approach- i speak from the heart, and it is
not helping-guess i have to learn how to sound objective-
not easy at my age-
do u remember the name of antidepressant that had no side effects?
im sorry for your loss-and thank you again for your info.
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My mother was given Haldol by her family doctor because, in her dementia, she was throwing dishes and breaking them. He then sent her to a psychiatrist because he did not feel comfortable prescribing such a medication. The psychiatrist doubled her medication and it turned her into a zombie. Then the psychiatrist said to return in three months. Mom was becoming quieter and more rigid. The family doctor could see that mom was getting worse, but he was afraid to say to not go back to the psychiatrist "in case he would need her in the future". At the three month and final appt since I stopped taking her, she could see what was happening, took her off Haldol, and prescribed an anti-depressant to counter-act it. I don't know if mom was depressed, mom couldn't say. But it did bring her around. She remained on that anti-depressant, which, thankfully, had no side effects, until she died. Since that time, I have attended Alz support group meetings and other support group meetings and said that I would never prescribe Haldol to a senior. In a small dose for a younger person, it might be OK. But in the increased dosage for an elderly person, it was wrong.
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