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Several blood pressure and heart-related medications have just been prescribed for my mother. She started taking them last night and she has been hallucinating today. She is in and assisted living facility, but today she thought I had been there and left without telling her I was leaving. She was panicking because she thought she was alone. When I told her that I was still at work, she couldn't understand how that was possible. Could this be caused by the new medications? To my knowledge, she hasn't had any hallucinations in months prior to today.

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I read fairly dense scientific paper last night on Am Heart Assoc site....basically summarizing 5or6global studies of a large sample of elderly men and women. In sum, seemed to say for someone like my mom, statins are appropriate for reduction of HA. But it also said treatment with statin classified aggressive vs moderate ( type of statin, dose) did not show advantage one over the other. My mom is on an aggressive protocol, so maybe the doc will switch to lesser dose, different statin. Article also discussed quality of life issues, life expectancy based on current age in making choice to take drug. I read that the author works as consultant for the major Pharmas of statins, so kind of shot credibility.....sz
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But, taking off statins, the risk of stroke would increase, resulting possibly in more memory loss.
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Merrilou....re statin and memory loss, was it specific to the elderly in some part of article? I would love to take my mom off statins. I am with you re what good is it if it is compromising your quality of life? At 83 I think that is prime issue!
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If elders are given strong blood pressure meds (stronger than they need) they are apt to hallucinate. Changing my mom's bp meds reduced her hallucinations by 90%. They are at least 5 different types of Blood pressure medications. They ARE NOT all the same.
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Abby333, the article that mbost310 is speaking of above is attached here.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/urinary-tract-infections-elderly-146026.htm

The AgingCare.com Team
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I hope you have taken your mom to be examined by a physician. One additional thought: Antihypertensives often include diuretics which could possibly result in fluid and electrolyte imbalances. Not always, but too often (especially when it concerns your LO) the results of these imbalances include significant effects like confusion, hypotension, and several other things which can in turn increase one's falls risk, affect other organs, etc., etc.. So, it's a serious issue. But, it is possible that the dosage just needs to be adjusted. If so, an adjustment could soon help her return to her prior state.
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I don't really know about heart medications and their effect on dementia, but one thing you may want to rule out as a possible cause for hallucinations is a urinary tract infection. There's a very informative article on UTIs on this website "Urinary tract infections in the elderly." Although the connection between the medication and hallucinations seems a more likely cause in your case, UTIs are worth consideration anytime there is a sudden change in your elderly loved ones' mental status.
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A report was just published concerning statins and memory loss. My mother is 87 and had bypass surgery at 80. Her short term memory is practically non-existent after 7 years on statins and when she went back on BP medicine, she got worse. If I had it to do over again, I would've taken her off of the statins when she came to live with me 6 years ago. So what if she has high cholesterol. It took her 80 years to have a mild heart attack with no damage before statins.I truly believe the fewer meds the better for all of us and so do some physicians. What's the point of just keeping someone alive who can't function? The Dr's have been handing out statins like they did birth control in the 70s and now we find out they cause harm. Who knows if that's not the case with BP meds too. Big pharma has too much control over our lives.
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Talk to the doctor who put her on the medication. My husband was on heart, cholesterol, blood thinner, diabetes, asthma medication for many years before the stroke that led ultimately to vascular dementia. The only difference I noticed was he began shaking for ca 15 minutes after taking the meds. I separated the cholesterol from the heard medication after speaking with his cardiologist, to see if that would stop it. He thought it should not make any difference but to go ahead and try. And it worked - heart meds in the morning - cholesterol in the evening and no more shaking. Otherwise no problems.
So, please find out what the new medications are, and talk about the side effects.
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My Dad was diagnosed with dementia (officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's) about 4 years ago. This was following a stent placement procedure on a blood vessel leading to his heart, which was about 90% blocked. At the time, several other vessels were about 60-70% blocked, but supposedly these were not blocked enough to warrant stents. Following the surgery, which I wouldn't consider very invasive, he was placed on 7 or 8 heart-related medications. Within 6 months he was acting oddly and experiencing hallucinations. I looked up the known side-effects of all medications on a very good internet site and was appalled by what I found out, as was my mother, who at age 83 is his primary caregiver. We either weaned him off or immediately stopped all medications except high-dose aspirin (the heart doctor wasn't very happy, of course). Unfortunately it was too late. I adamantly believe that these medications exacerbated or sped up his decline into dementia. Today he is basically healthy physically, except for back problems. He continues on two medications for prostate, which he's been on for years. But mentally he is probably close to entering the final stages of Alzheimer's (or whichever dementia he has; it's really hard to diagnose exactly). He has very involved hallucinations almost on a daily basis, develops fixations on things or events (believes he still has to turn in some important military papers and explain his absence although he's been retired from the military for 40 years), has trouble eating, cannot get dressed by himself, cannot shower or bathe without help, shuffles when he walks, mumbles when he talks or speaks in a way that isn't understandable, cannot go out anywhere, experiences sundowners syndrome most evenings, tries to hold up walls and doors because he thinks they're falling, down, etc. Looking back, he may have been showing some minor signs of impending dementia at the time of his surgery (driving, etc.), but following the surgery and medications it happened basically overnight. He now takes 3 meds for the dementia. I sometimes wonder what he would be like if the meds were stopped, but am also scared about what I might see happen. So to answer your question: YES, YES, YES. I truly believe that heart medications can make dementia worse, speed up the symptoms, etc. I wish my Dad was the man he was before he was given such meds.
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Hello abby33. Below is a link to an article on our site that you may find interesting as well.

https://www.agingcare.com/News/blood-pressure-medications-lower-dementia-risk-155335.htm

The AgingCare.com Team
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Sounds like maybe one of those medications had some effect, if you noted that new change in behavior. I'm not sure of the effects of those meds, but you might look up online - under side-effects of the drugs she is being given. One thing about dementia and not knowing what day it is, or where one is - or remembering names of children on family photos, seems related to the confusion over days that emerges, when we are no longer often engaged in an area. We don't remember the day of the week, after we retire from work, or from routines that made us check what day it was, on a daily basis. Elderly people have so many memories, pieces of life they put together from all kinds of lessons, all related to people no longer in their presence, many no longer alive. How many of us can keep everyone straight, if we have lost contact with so many meaningful people in our lives. It takes being part of things to maintain awareness. Not to minimize dementia forgetfulness or delusions, but I spent the last year with my 106 year old, and learned from books on talking with people with Alzheimers - to try to discern the feeling or impression, rather than the facts of what she was saying. So when she would wake at night and ask me if her husband had brought the dog in, and she was all worried, even though neither husband or dog existed any more - I struggled to think of what to answer, and tried to say, "I'm sure he's watching over the dog", or "watching over you", or "it's such a good thing to have someone at home who worries about you, as you are worrying about him....." Sometimes it may not work, but just having company, in the middle of some confusion, company that doesn't condemn you, or insist instantly on correctness in areas that are not related to day to day life (like the bathroom is around the corner) - can just be part of the aging process. She only took heart meds and blood pressure meds, and I think she kept the mental clarity she did, because she insisted on getting herself into position to move anywhere, and she was always accurate, and did not take risks, but planned movements, and made us wait for her to move on her own.
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Just recently there was a story on ABC News about how blood pressure meds can reduce the risk of developing dementia.
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Alzheimers/blood-pressure-drugs-lower-dementia-risk/story?id=18160758

My mother that lives with Alzheimer's type dementia hallucinates all the time. Doesn't remember the city she lives in, or that she is married. She married a high school beau just six years ago, but when she does remember she is married she thinks it has been since they were young. She does not remember my dad, that passed away 45 years ago, very often.
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Abby33,

I recommend you take your mom to the doctor right away. I do not know the full symptoms of dementia, but halucinations is a stage of Alzheimer's and I know some individuals can move from dementia to Alzheimer's.

I encourage you to reach out to a doctor to have your mom checked. My mom is on blood pressure medicines and we have no issues like that at all.

Good luck!
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