Having second thoughts on putting Mom on antipsych medication. Anyone have experience with parent taking this?

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I know delusions and hallucinations are part of dementia, but when Mom has an episode she's becoming so much more agitated that I'm afraid she'll have another stroke or a heart attack just from getting so aggravated. It's getting harder to talk to her, to reach her. If I agree with her or not about hearing the voices or seeing the men with the angry faces makes no difference. Today I just let her go on while I sat there in silence and cried. We've started her on a low dose, but I've read the literature warnings. I'm concerned but it seems like a lose-lose situation either way. So has anyone else experience in this area?

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Thank you for sharing your stories.I do feel more at ease with her on the drug. So far the drug is having a positive impact and she's less agitated and upset.
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My husband 85 has been on Seroquel for three years now without it he could not live at home. It took 30 days in a medication behavioral unit, which Medicare paid for to get him regulated. He has not had to have the meds changed. Between learning how not to cause aggressive behavior and with the correct meds it can work. Does for me & no side effect problem.
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Mkoms66, in general, I have found that most of thrpe healthcare decisions I have made for my mom in the last three years ( she's 93 now) have been of the " what is the lesser of two evils" type.

This drug/treatment/procedure may kill her, but leaving it untreated may also kill her or cause terrible symptoms to continue.

These are not easy choices we make. I try to do what my mom would have done with her own mom, and what causes her to have least amount of physical and psychic pain.

And in the end, if that causes her to live a couple of fewer months, I'm okay with that. At this point, it's about HER comfort, not return to health.
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My husband was on an antipsych med nearly the ten years we dealt with his dementia. It made a huge difference. We was able to stay home and enjoy some quality of life. At the end when he went on hospice we discontinued it, only to quickly add it back in. Suffering from anxiety and hallucinations was not comfortable! So I know it continued to be effective the whole time.

Many others in my local support group tried the same drug or other antipsychotics, without success (or even with bad side effects.) I asked my husband's neurologist why the drug worked so well for my husband. He said they didn't know! Researchers were hoping to find ways to predict which drugs would work for which people, but for now it was trial-and-error.

Moms66angel, maybe the drug will not work for your mom. They don't work for everyone. Maybe she'll even get worse in some way (which will subside when the drug is discontinued.) But what if it really helped? In my mind, that is a risk worth taking. If her doctor is experienced in treating her kind of dementia and thinks a certain drug is worth a try, what have you got to lose, really?

Starting on a low dose is to test for bad reactions. Unless there are side effects that don't typically go away after adjusting to the drug, keep at it and follow the doctor's advice about increasing the dose up to the therapeutic level.

Reading the warnings that come with drugs is scary! I read the whole sheet for an antidepressant I had been prescribed, I cried, and then I took the drug! It is always a risk vs benefit decision.
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My Dad started on low does a few weeks ago. I have seen no improvement.
I have seen the situation get worse.

I was told all about the risks. But, I was also told about the possible improvement in his quality of life too. The risks are maybe higher with my Dad since he has so many systems all failing at the same time. I choose to go ahead with the drugs because I reason he cannot be happy the way he is. Like you Mom...she is upset and agitated...that isn't a happy person.

Tough choice. I opted for quality of life. Still trying to find the right way to do this. Especially now that he is starting to refuse to take any meds!
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