Mom has mild to moderate Alzheimer's, phantom pains and begs for pain pills. Do doctors prescribe placebo pills?

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Mom is 73 with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. She has constant near death pain in chest, legs, stomach and temple. Before we took control she was eating extra strength Tylenol like candy. Do doctors prescribe placebo pills? She has had every test and seen cardiologists and gastro doctors and cat scans, no issues that are causing this constantly moving pain. If someone says they broke their ribs once, suddenly her ribs are causing extreme debilitating lay on the couch and cry anguish. Begs for pain pills. The AD is tough enough, but to have her wailing in pain despite all we do to try to get her to think about something else is wearing us out. And she fools new people who freak out, want to call the ambulance because she swears the pain is unbearable. They think we are cruel for not taking the pain seriously. comments suggestions are appreciated!

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Psychiatrists have been the BEST doctors for my mom since she developed dementia.

In dementia, the brain is broken, often causing the mind to misperceive reality. Think of the phantom pains as delusions.

What a good geriatric psychiatrist can do is try medications to reduce her anxiety, agitation and other symptoms of the dementia. I think this is worth a try.
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Thank you, a cream might help and is safe, also will ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. Just stressed out!
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If anxiety is the root cause then yes, a psychiatrist can help.
As for the nitro, my mom does have a long history of heart disease so when she complained of chest pain she was prescribed a nitro patch, which she used for years. I've since realized she had gastric reflux (GERD) and since she hasn't complained of angina since being taken off the patch I wonder if her chest pain was not at least partially related to that.

I've just had a thought, if your mom is mostly psychologically dependent on her pain pills then perhaps using over the counter pain patches and creams might give her some relief.
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is the phantom pain a symptom of AD? It is so strange she loves taking pills, when I mostly read on here that people have a hard time getting the patient to take their pills! She was the same way with nitroglycerin tablets, she had a MD convinced she was having heart attacks ( a million tests later and her heart is fine) and he prescribed nitro glycerin pills, Can a psychiatrist actually help a AD patient at this stage?
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I know that overuse of pain meds, even meds like tylenol, for headache can cause rebound pain, I'm not sure if that applies to other kinds of pain. I've also read many articles about how pain that has no physical cause is none the less real to those experiencing it. Large doses of tylenol are toxic and can cause liver damage so weaning her back is necessary, but they can't just leave her hanging out to dry. I agree with BarbB , this really does sound like something a psychiatrist may be able to help with.
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I don't know if docs prescribe placebos, but you can fill a tylenol bottle with something similar looking, or better, a prescription pill bottle with a label you type up.

Folks with dementia often have difficulty explaining pain. I would have her evaluated by a psychiatrist who may give you a more comprehensive answer than a placebo. This could be a manifestation of depression and anxiety and should be treated medically.
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Was Mom taking pain pills for legitimate pain? Could she have become addicted and now wants pain pills for that reason?

I wonder if eating Tylenol like candy causes withdrawal?
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