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Depakote-I need some insite
Internal Administrator
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Joined: 1/14/2015
Posts: 40463


Originally posted by: bb

My husband has been on Depakote for about 2 months. The dr. used it to keep him from being so hyper because he is also bipolar, but he also has Alz. He is losing weight, about 12 pounds in the last month and was barely eating. Just a bite here and there. He was also on 3 chol. drugs and was having muscle weakness and pain, so I stopped the chol. drugs, all three, and his muscle pain and weakness has started to leave him and his appetite has started to come back. Now he will eat a full meal most of the time, but he is still losing weight. Has anyone else had a LO lose weight on Depakote? I will not stop this med without dr. approval, but need some insight whether anyone has had this problem. He also started him on new bipolar meds about 2 months ago. I feel like I don't want to keep changing his meds and mess around with this bipolar. He was on lithium for 22 years, but dr. took him off of it thinking it was progressing the Alz. at a faster rate and it was giving him the tremors. I did look up about the Depakote and one of the side effects was weight loss. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Barb
Lgthousart@comcast.net
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: Jim Broede

quote:
Originally posted by bb:
My husband has been on Depakote for about 2 months. The dr. used it to keep him from being so hyper because he is also bipolar, but he also has Alz. He is losing weight, about 12 pounds in the last month and was barely eating. Just a bite here and there. He was also on 3 chol. drugs and was having muscle weakness and pain, so I stopped the chol. drugs, all three, and his muscle pain and weakness has started to leave him and his appetite has started to come back. Now he will eat a full meal most of the time, but he is still losing weight. Has anyone else had a LO lose weight on Depakote? I will not stop this med without dr. approval, but need some insight whether anyone has had this problem. He also started him on new bipolar meds about 2 months ago. I feel like I don't want to keep changing his meds and mess around with this bipolar. He was on lithium for 22 years, but dr. took him off of it thinking it was progressing the Alz. at a faster rate and it was giving him the tremors. I did look up about the Depakote and one of the side effects was weight loss. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Barb
Lgthousart@comcast.net



Jeanne was on depakote for a while. Maybe a year or two. Intended to control her moods. But we were able to wean her off the depakote. Entirely. With good results. She just didn't need the drug. Depakote is a drug initially used by the medical profession to control/prevent seizures. We think that the depakote may actually have had the opposite effect and triggered a seizure or two in Jeanne. She never had a seizure problem before. Anyway, once she came off the depakote, there were no more seizures. As with any medication, one has to measure the benefits against the risk of negative side effects. Too often, I think, there's a tendency to over-medicate. To make it easier for the care-giver rather than the patient. That ain't good. --Jim
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: Jim Broede

quote:
Originally posted by Mr.Inc'sGal:
My father has been on Depakote for nearly a year. He has lost about 12 lbs. He has a huge appetite. I don't think it is the Depakote that is making him lose weight, but I think it is the VERY small meals that are served in the nursing home. We supplement them, but we aren't there for every meal.
Blessings



I always supplemented Jeanne's meals in the nursing home. And I asked that she be serevd ice cream for every meal. Even breakfast. If she was reluctant to eat her veggies, we'd dip the veggies in ice cream. That worked. Also brought in Dairy Queen treats. Jeanne especially liked a chocolate chip blizzard. At first, Jeanne was losing weight. But when we supplemented her diet with goodies, she got to a desired weight. One learns to improvise. And do whatever works. Also we had between meal snacks. And I hand-fed Jeanne her lunch and supper in her room. And we took as long as it took. Maybe 90 minutes some days. A nice leisurely pace. The way one should dine even when one doesn't have Alzheimer's. And we played soothing dinner music, too. Often we dined to the accompaniment of a string quartet. Brought back memories of dining in a plush hotel in Prague as we listened to a live string quartet play Mozart. Isn't life wonderful? So many nice experiences and memories. --Jim
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: Twice Blessed

Alzheimer's patients will loose weight more often than gain. It could or could not be the med.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: pkd

Both my sister and I went to see Mom yesterday. We both almost started crying when we saw her. She is in a type of wheelchair to give her body some support. It can be put in an upright position for eating then can be put at an angle for a little more relaxing feel. She looked so pathetic. The nurse told us she has been in the wheelchair the past couple of days. Mom is hardly eating and is so limp. She just has this blank stare. Although I feel that when I look into her eyes I almost can hear her screaming to help her get out. I just felt so bad for her. I know her days are numbered in this unit since they have to be somewhat mobile and able to do some of the simple things for themselves. Based on the way Mom is now, I am expecting them to call me any minute to tell me they have to move her into a different unit - one that will provide 'round the clock care for those who can't take care of themselves. This is just breaking my heart.

My sister noticed that Mom's skin coloring wasn't good - almost slightly yellowed. I brought my new puppy and we had to pick up hand up to put on the puppy's back so she could feel him. She is still so very cold to the touch and her skin is so dry. We put lotion on her and rubbed it in very well and very gently. We covered her with her afghan. It was so hard leaving her but the nurse reassured us she would be ok.

Last night around bed time, I got a call saying Mom's oxygen level went down. They were putting her on oxygen and were going to call the doctor. I called both my brother and sister. Then I decided I would get over there to sit with her as I did not know what ot expect. When I called the nurse back to let her know I was coming over, she said the she did not understand it but mom's oxygen level went back up and she was fine. I didn't hear from anyone all night so am thinking everything is fine, for now. The nurse was going to make sure the nurse on duty this morning does get in touch with mom's doctor to make sure he fully aware of mom's current condition and what happened last night.

I am wondering, has anyone else had a loved one that has experienced any of the adverse side effects from Depakote? It seems to us that Mom has gone downhill dramatically since she started taking this med. Since my trust in doctors is somewhat limited, I am looking to all of you who are in the trenches and have gone through this or are going through this as more in the know.

Thanks so much for you help!
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: pkd

Mary T - THANK YOU SO MUCH! This really hits home and the scary thing is my sister even mentioned about the liver damage. I've printed this out. I am calling the nursing home in a minute to talk it over with the nurse since I haven't heard from them yet.

Jim - what wonderful memories you have. My mother has worn dentures almost all of her adult life. Now her dentures don't fit anymore, and there is nothing that really can be done (I've taken her to a dentist). So all of her food is pured ( not sure of spelling). I have gone over many times to help feed her. She does have a sweet tooth and loves ice cream, pudding, etc. She has done pretty well eating up until this past week. It is so sad. I don't try to force her to eat and try to give her those things, I know she will eat. We do go very slow because I have to make sure she swallows because we have found sometimes she doesn't and the food just stays in her mouth or sometimes she drools.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: campingnana

I feel that the "side effects" of certain medications definately is something for all of us to think about.

We need to pick and choose our battles.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: SkyBird

My dad is on Depakote and is actually gaining weight at the ALF.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: Mary T

pkd,

I did a search for possible side effects of depakote and this is what I read about possible liver damage with yellowing of the skin:

What are the possible side effects of Depakote?
Seek emergency medical attention if the person taking this medicine has nausea, vomiting, 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. Some of these symptoms may also be early signs of pancreatitis. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
unexplained weakness with vomiting and confusion or fainting;

easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

fever, skin rash, swollen glands;

fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

urinating less than usual;

blood in your urine;

hallucinations (seeing things that aren't there);

weakness, lack of coordination;

a red, blistering, peeling skin rash;

extreme drowsiness;

unusual bleeding or bruising; or

double vision or back-and-forth movements of the eyes.

Continue using Depakote and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

drowsiness or weakness;

diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach;

depression, anxiety, or other emotional changes;

changes in your menstrual periods;

enlarged breasts;

tremor (shaking);

hair loss;

weight changes;

a red, blistering, peeling skin rash;

vision changes; or

unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: Mr.Inc'sGal

My father has been on Depakote for nearly a year. He has lost about 12 lbs. He has a huge appetite. I don't think it is the Depakote that is making him lose weight, but I think it is the VERY small meals that are served in the nursing home. We supplement them, but we aren't there for every meal.
Blessings
Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 8:03 AM
Originally posted by: pkd

This thread was started well over a year ago. I did a search because the doctor has started my mother on depakote.

Ever since she started on it, she is like a zombie...so lethargic, catatonic like, wants to sleep all the time. And when she is sleeping very very difficult to wake up. I'm afraid to have her walk so end up having her sit in a wheelchair. She is to the point where we have to feed her to get her to eat. Her hands and feet are cold. The one nurse on duty that we really love, called and called the doctor until she finally got someone to call her back. This doctor said to go back to the lower dosages of the depakote. To be honest, I haven't seen much improvement. If anyone has any new insight into this drug and how your loved ones have done it, please let me know. I am at a loss as to what to do. I am so afraid that because mom is requiring so much more care now, the administration may require us to move her to a different unit.