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Last night AL called. My sweet little mom Was violent and tried to stab someone with a fork!!!! She fell last week, ER trip. Eye swollen like a soft ball. Still swollen. Purple.
I'm wondering if The fall could have brought on this violent behavior.
They called the doc and he is putting her on depakote.
In talked to her on phone during this episode, she was confused about where I was and where she was.
My father committed suicide almost 29 years ago. She thinks he is still alive and is cheating on her. She will argue with him (loudly) yell out words like -slut, whore,says he is fu-king 20 women. He never ever cheated on her.
Her hallucinations just started last June and I had to put her in AL memory in October for respite. Taking care of her for 8 years sucked the life out of me and left me with several chronic diseases from stress and not taking care of me. I had no help at all, family all scattered and distanced themselves from us, not wanting to help.

I lover so much and she loves me so much. I want her back! I know it won't happen. I swore to take care of her as long as I could and guilt because I couldn't do it. Guilt keeps me from visiting as I should. Also as soon as she sees me she starts in on my Dad. It brings up all my pain from suicide

Anyone know what may happen to her personality on depakote?
The AL had a senior prim last Saturday. My husbad and I went she did pretty well, except embarrassed about the black eye.
I have been on this board for 3 years, reading several times a day. I just don't ask too many questions, just learn from others posts. I could not fingpd anything helpful on depakote and violence. But now id appreciate any input on what might lay ahead. Mom will soon be 94- she is in good health. I think she may have had 3 mini strokes since June. I'm afraid they will kick her out.

Does anyone know what it could do to her. ?

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Ps My mom danced in her chair on it after the first weeks. If not, just reduce it until you find the correct dose. Give each dose 1-3 weeks ro observe.
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The first few weeks they are very tired, welly mom was, then great. She had 250mg 3x daily. It was our only lifesaver!!!!
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We are starting on a low dose of Depakote Sprinkles this coming week for my mom. I have heard a lot of good things about it and am anxious to see her feeling happier and less agitated.
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my mom has taken depakote for about 10 years for her seizures but they also use this medicine for bi polar. It seems to work well for her. My mom has violent outbursts but that is more related to dementia than the depakote. My mom has went through all the caregivers at the one homecare service so we are switching and hope that helps. I'm also quitting my 2nd shift job and getting some daytime work to make life easier for mom and me.
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I'm a concerned bystander. Some of what you said concerned me. I did note that you said to research it, and I was glad for that. I commented that. I know you are trying to help, I experienced the brain zaps coming off of Effexor, I hated it. My psych titrated me back up, and a week later down, but at a much slower rate.

You see, I wouldn't want someone to think that they were trapped on a medication forever is all, especially if it is one that they hate or need to come off of. I would feel scared and hopeless if someone said that to me. Some people may be more sensitive to quitting/titrating down some meds, but all people are different. And neither of us really knows whats going on because we aren't there. I am certain that her doctor and pharmacist can find ways to help her.

The caregiver can research, present, ask questions, and advocate for their loved one. We're here to provide care, support and share experiences, and find sneaky ways to point them to useful websites, LOL! And as Mishka says, sometimes I'm here to be snarky. *giggles*

p.s. but i'm not being snarky in here. :)
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My comment was from experience and I did say to research it, are you the moderator here?
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I agree with Pamela on researching all meds. Mom has been through the mill with meds and is finally on a schedule that has worked for 2 years now. It took over 2 years before that to get things worked out. I have a list of meds that either did nothing or made her worse. Unfortunately not all meds are good for all people. The only way to find out is by taking them and paying close attention to behavior changes. Some may be very subtle and take time to recognize.
Also, as Pamela said, it takes time to wean someone off of most meds used to help dementi/Alz. patients. Most of these meds need to be started in very small doses in case of a reaction like your mom had and they should be cut down very slowly if taken away.
This is the part I found the hardest in the last 7 years of caring for Mom. It's a long process for some and very stressful for all involved. Every person and every case is different and there is no magic way to tell what treatment will work.
Mom was given ativan in the hospital a few years ago after a fall. They said she was off the wall agitated and needed something to calm her down. I found out that they never gave her the Parkinsons meds and she had no control over her body. That was after I stayed at the hospital until 1AM to give them all her meds and times to take them. She went to rehab the next day and it took them 2 weeks to get her back to no longer seeing bugs in and on everything!
Here4her, hang in there! The right combo of meds is something we all struggle with. I hope they find what your mom needs soon. Good luck!
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Reverersoles, dx-ing someone online is not a very good idea, even doctors don't do it. Encouraging someone to research something is always a good idea, stick with that. Sharing your own experience AS your OWN experience, that can be helpful too.

There are medications which are difficult to quit. But it does not mean that people must stay on the medication forever. They only must be titrated down VERY slowly with a doctor's close supervision. I was on an antidepressant like that; the side effects of quitting were very difficult. I disliked those electric feeling "brain zaps", so I called my psychiatrist and he temporarily increased the medication and then a week later decreased it again, but not by as much, and then we moved slower. It took a while but it was worth it because the side effects of staying on the drug were ones that I was no longer willing to live with.

Here4her, quitting three meds is a long and irritating process for the body and brain. The hospital is the best place to do that, especially for an older person, or anyone who's health is compromised. It's a good thing that the doctor seems to be right on top of everything. It's possible that some of your mom's behaviors and the twitch are from quitting the meds. I'm sure if you have any questions your mom's new doctor will answer them. And Reverseroles is right, researching medications is always a good idea. I never take a med without knowing what I'm taking. I use a little dot com called drugs, I love one of the features there that allows me to type in every med I take and then it shows me possible interactions.

Now, after the EEG did the neurologist diagnose seizures? And if they did, what kind of seizure? Or is it still being called a twitch? I'm just asking because I have a seizure disorder, (grand mal, seizure free since 1986), and now I have something called Myoclonic Jerks/Twitches. Some doctors still call Myoclonus a seizure, but it's not one. If I am having a bad day/night of them, they do look like a seizure. I'm ok though, I am completely alert and aware the entire time. They happen on the left side, so I can still drive. Being stressed makes it worse, a sudden loud noise can make it come on. They don't hurt me, they just bug me and I look silly so I feel embarrassed when it happens in public. I take that back about the pain, if they go on for the whole day and become very strong, I do get sore. But you know what? They don't happen all the time. So I'm ok with it. :)
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Here4her----The twitch and behavior is from weaning off Paxil, I would highly recommend NOT going off it. have you ever read about the withdrawals of Paxil and how many people are sueing them? My Moms on it and will be forever, its horrible to get off it, I wouldnt blame the depakote, I am sure its the paxil, it also gives you brain zaps trying to get off it, please research it and ask to keep her on. Just my opinion, good luck!
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Depakote is prescribed for several reasons. My mother doesn't have epilepsy and takes 4-250mg tabs nightly. It has worked wonders with the irritation and helps her calm down enough to sleep. Her personality has not changed, still as fiesty as ever but not aggressive and prone angry outbursts (my mother once screamed and yelled at me while in the waiting room for labs--this behavior was very unlike my mom.) I will pray for your family and hang in there!
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Today this doctor saw mom "twich" so he ordered an EEG to see if it was a seizure. He is a great doc and I'm glad he has taken over her case. At AL she had a bad UTI they overlooked. Even though I told them and was charted that this is a big problem for her.
Now I need to research the little seizures, if that is what it was. God our loved ones who are going through this.
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My mom got agitated and even mildly violent (hit someone with her purse) on some trials of memory meds too but there was no way to know without trying. Sorry you found out the hard way the Depakote was not for your mom! Make sure it stays on her chart somehow, even in the allergy section if need be; if there was a good reason to try it once, someone else will think of trying it again...that's just the way it is right now, you try stuff that works for "most people" with no idea if you are going to be like or UNlike "most people." Maybe some day they will have an affordable gene test to screen out the bad reactions to common drugs before trying them. Right now except for a couple of very specific things that are high risk, everybody is essentially a guinea pig in their own experiment with an N of 1.
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After a few days on depakote my mom got very aggressive. Threw a glass and shattered, pulled hair and was generally very agitated. So not like her.
They sent her to a hospital where there is a psych doctor to Terri. Her meds.
He is weening her off aricept, namenda and paxil. She has still been agitated but they say doing better. I was only allowed to visit after 48 hours. When I visited she was so sleepy, kept dozing off. I told her she was a sleepy head and she told me she was "unconscious" - still some humor there.
About 2 1/2 weeks ago she fell out of bed (on carpet). She looked like someone hit her with a sledge hammer. It's still got a knot above her eye.
I'm fearful what she is going to be like after the meds are out of her system. Will she decline down to an unconscious state. Will it helpmher irritation or will she improve. It is so scary to me to loose her.
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The memory care unit nurse practitioner just put my Dad on Depakote when he started getting too angry and agitated and struck out at a couple people. Started him on a very small dose twice a day. He does not act 'drugged up' at all, but is much more calm and happy. NP who discussed it with me, said it's very good with dementia pts who advance to being more agressive, but that it should be started slowly, so as to find the smallest dose that will help and then increase it as or if needed.
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From my experience with depakote, I think it is a miracle drug. Mom was getting very aggressive, taking the Lord's name in vain, hitting people, yelling etc. Doctor put her on depakote and she is a lot better. Wished we had started it out 10 years ago.
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I think we could make it the Stefans-Gibbs Law, that has a really nice ring to it :-)
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Sorry, vstefans, I said that first ... you can't have it. But I gotta admit you said it so well, so if anybody quotes you directly, yeah, you should get credit. :)
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Well you heard it here first. Stefans' Law of Side Effects. It's simple: Anybody can get any side effect on anything. If you get one, it has probably been reported before, unless it hasn't.

(Feel free to share this timeless pearl, but please give me credit. )

Ergo: Depakote is a great drug, except when it isn't. Given a choice between that and antipsychotics, I'd try the Depakote first. The only group of people I know who defintiely should not try it are those with a mitochondrial condition called POLG, and people with liver problems in general are going to be at risk of more.
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Ah, Castle, you are so right and that is so wrong! Hospitals and medical settings in general do not deal well with elders and in particular have no clue how to alter their routines for patients with dementia.

I would hope that an assisted living facility who will accept a resident with dementia would have the skills to deal with it, but I suppose that is assuming a lot. Perhaps now that she is back to her own routine in a familiar place and also taking a very small dose of a mood stabilizer she will quickly return to her former baseline and non-aggressive behavior.

Whenever my husband was hospitalized after developing dementia, I made sure that he was never without a family member in his room. The hospital experience itself is traumatizing and I wanted to minimize its impact.

I have no experience with Depakote but have heard good things about it at my caregiving group.
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Mood stabilizing drugs are not the cure all, but if a person is a physical danger to others there is no other alternative. Dementia is a horrible disease, but brain deterioration needs to be controlled for the safety of others.
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Hereforher, you have found the right person here . My Mom went to the hospitals Neurology Head and he prescribed depakote sprinkles for all dementia/alz patients once they hit the agressive stage. My little sweet Mom took off out of my house when I had a caretaker there and she took off up the road. My caretaker tried to stop her, wouldnt take her arm off her as she was headed up the hill and mom beat her up. She hit and hit her and the neighbor who was mowing his lawn ran over, his wife drove down and they got her in the car and called me. That was it ! We got Mom home and she cried "whats wrong with me" and then forgot it. I called the neurologist and he called in the depakote sprinkles (because she cant swallow pills) My Mom was a changed women, won-won-wonderful stuff and the Dr said so much safer than seraquel or antipsychotics. At first they sleep a lot, after they get used to it they come around and are great. My Mom went on 125mg 3x daily. Good Luck, its a miracle drug and even children with behavior problems or epilepsy can take it. Any questions, post on my site, dont worry one bit. Not only will you be happier, she will do as she doesnt want to act like that, she cant help it.
RR
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I find it difficult when any mood stabilizing medication is added - making a permanent solution out of a temporary problem. Most healthcare staff have little training in communicating with people with memory loss, so if there is a change in their routine, which is terrifying to anyone with memory loss, for they memorize their physical environment and routines and when they have to go to another section of the hospital, all is upside down. Most staff, busy with multiple cases, treat the person in a friendly manner but do not slow down their pace to try to hear or respond to their questions, do not wait for them to get words together and there is a complete gap in communication. If your mom fell in such a situation, she would be even more afraid and furious - for old people feel angry when they see young people not listening and responding to them - they remember when they were in charge of teaching young people manners, and so they see fast communication as a lack of manners. And so they speak up the only way they can: by barking complaints, criticisms and orders, and shouting, or even making physical motions (like trying to shove with a walker), for they have lost so many words, that when they feel the need to communicate, they are unable to do so. If there was a "violent" episode - and I think the word is widely overused - but if it happened after a change like an operation or a fall - then it could be resolved for ongoing issues, by getting the person back to their routines, and eventually they relax on their own. And, train staff better! Train orderlies, nurses, MD's - all personell, dealing with elders, to quickly say, "I'm sorry" and pause to hear - and if they don't have time, apologize for the lack of time, and smile. Play down anger, act like you might find things you like in the person - even if you will never see them again. So many episodes happen when different staff have different expectations of communication from different patients, and no one wants to apologize and take it lightly, they want to call it "violent" and give the person a pill. In the middle of an operation it may be helpful, but in so many cases, just looking at the pt and showing a wish to understand, conveys volumes of reassurance.
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Depakote is often used as a mood stabilizer. She should not be given so much that it sedates her into a "vegetable". I agree with Scared, seek information on the Internet--WebMD, MayoClinic, about drugs. All drugs have side effects; remember that just because there is a possible side effect, it doesn't mean that your mom will suffer from it. With any drug, you have to weigh the benefit with the risk and make an informed choice. Having her stabbing people doesn't seem like it's a viable behavior in a group environment. Best of luck.
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For questions on medication I use a great little dotcom called drugs. Here is a bit of information I gleaned from it for you; you should try visiting the site for yourself.

"Depakote side effects

Seek emergency medical attention if the person taking Depakote has nausea, vomiting, upper stomach pain, or loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). These symptoms may be early signs of liver damage or pancreatitis.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, depression, anxiety, or if you feel agitated, hostile, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Depakote: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects: . . ."

There is even a button you can click on for professionals which will give you much much more information. My mother was on depakote along with quite a large number of other pharmaceuticals; I believe what made the largest change in her personality which are along the same lines you are mentioning here, was the Ambien. Horrible horrible horrible stuff!!!
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Go to internet and type in depakote. You will find lots of info about it which might help answer your question. Yes, it is an antiseizure med, but it might be used for other things.
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depakote is a anitseizure medicine, so not sure why they would prescribe that unless she has emplizy, I am sure I spelled that wrong sorry, I would look into medicines for dementia which is what it sounds to me that she has, depakote can also cause liver failure, will keep you in my prayers
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Thank you AC for changing my question back to what I really wanted to ask. I'm at my wits in and when I saw it changed I broke down in tears. I'm not one who cries, I keep it bottled in. I feel so alone because I have no help, friends don't want to hear about it , i was always the happy go lucky one and this site is my only solace. Thank you attain.
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AC changed the actual question I asked. Making the question more about the fall than the depakote. Her CT was fine.
My real question is more about will the depakote calm her down, make her a vegetable, loose her personallity, which is quite funny. They get her to do cheers for them. I should have not mentioned the fall. His changing of questions is a reason years ago I quit asking!!!
I once asked a question and it was changed totally different. I had to keep on them to change it back.
This change was not so bad, but it wasn't what I wrote!!!!
Why can't It be left like it was asked.
Guess I won't be asking any more questions!!!!!! Frustrating, to say the least.
Something I don't need more of.
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