Are alternative pain medications available for Alzheimer's patients?

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My LO suffers from significant dementia, suspected Alzheimers and lives in an Assisted Living facility. I was in the process of scheduling brain scans, when she fell and fractured her spine on Sunday. It's a small fracture, but quite painful. The Orthopaedic doctor prescribed her Percoset every 8 hours. He knows about her condition.

Since we left the doctor office yesterday, I read online that it may not be a good thing for her condition. Do you weigh the benefits vs. the risks? Are there other options? If so, why didn't this doctor prescribe that? He's a specialists in Orthopaedics and very highly respected. Certainly, he treats other patients with dementia. Am I over thinking this?

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I don't have dementia myself, but when I was given an epidural injection into my spine, my emotions were all out of control for about a week. Apparently that's pretty common. Some people become very angry and aggressive. You don't want that with a dementia patient! Perhaps some physical therapy would help, not the exercising pat yet, but stretching, hot and cold pads to lie on, and even massage.
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Just because a doctor is a respected orthopedist doesn't assure that he knows diddly about dementia or about geriatrics in general. It is true that sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks. I'd discuss this with the doctor who treats the dementia and ask his or her advice about the pain med of choice.
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I work with a Pharmacy that prepares compounded Pain creams for situations like these if you are interested let me know and I can send you some more information. I hope your LO gets well soon.
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What about an epidural?
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It might be a good idea to try her on something milder (like Tramadol, the weakest of the opioids). If that isn't strong enough, you can always go to something stronger. Percocet is pretty powerful,and can confuse a normal person, so yes, I'd use it with great caution. When my mom fractured her lower spine, all she really needed was Tylenol and the occasional Tramadol when the pain was worse.
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