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Progress of disease or medication issue?
Posted: Sunday, April 8, 2012 9:19 AM
Joined: 1/20/2012
Posts: 8

I'm wondering if anyone has experience with their LO's reaction to Zyprexa? My mom was recently put on this med while in the hospital. She has been progressing in her dementia over the last 6 months, but complications include a bout of pneuomonia and recurring UTI's, so it is hard to separate the effects of the infections from the progress of the dementia. Also, she has been in a SNF for rehabilitation therapy for the last week and has additional confusion about where she is. So, there are lots of changes going on at one time.

Mom has been experiencing hallucinations (thinking her husband was seated with her at dinner, etc.) along with the increased confusion, which we have also experienced with infections in the past.


When I visit her, it seems to increase her agitation because she thinks she is back home in New York state but she knows that I live in Ohio, so she cannot square things up in her head and gets upset. The staff at the SNF report that she is generally pretty docile during the day. She sundowns, so they are getting used to managing that. 

Oh, one other complication -- the hospital lost both her hearing aids during the transition to the SNF, so communicating with her is difficult to say the least. We hope to have replacements in a week or so.

Anyone have a similar experience or words of wisdom? I plan on speaking to the nurse practitioner and medical director at the SNF on Monday. 

Thanks for your help!

Posted: Sunday, April 8, 2012 11:25 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 2283

Tubamom wrote:



When I visit her, it seems to increase her agitation because she thinks she is back home in New York state but she knows that I live in Ohio, so she cannot square things up in her head and gets upset.


Thanks for your help!


Your statement is true of Dementia patients.


One day you will visit and they are pleased to see you. The next day they don't even acknowldege your presence.   ~  That was my experience during my last two visits with my wife. 

Posted: Sunday, April 8, 2012 12:07 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 701

Hi Tubamom!


The hospital put my Mom on Zyprexa and Ativan for depression and agitation after she broke her pelvis. She was having trouble managing because they took her off Xanax cold turkey.  She had terrible delusions and hallucinations!  Her PCP took her off the Zyprexa and Ativan and put her back on Xanax and she did much better.


Our main issue with Zyprexa was the cost.  I purchased one month of pills at Walmart and it was the generic of Zyprexa and it still cost $536.00!!!  I was in no hurry to have Mom stay on the drug.

Posted: Sunday, April 8, 2012 3:47 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

I would seriously have her checked for a UTI, asap.


My mom had one for the last week or so, and I truly felt something was ''off,'' but couldn't have said it was a UTI - until it was obvious.


Welcome!  Do you know much about UTI's?

Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8:14 AM
Joined: 1/20/2012
Posts: 8

Thanks PatF and Rose Ro for your replies.

I do know about UTI's. We have been battling them for months. My mom has always had trouble with them for as long as I can remember. Now, they tell me that she has some colonizing bacteria in her bladder with ESBL. The last urine culture was also positive for MRSA. She has had IV antibiotics twice in the last month. 

It is just very frustrating right now trying to determine whether her current level of confusion is the result of the infections, or her move to the nursing home, or the addition of Zyprexa, or a combination of all three. Since she will be going to a new ALF after the nursing home, I want to try to minimize the confusion that is sure to come from yet another move. She has taken a pretty drastic down turn over the last few weeks. She has exhibited all the symptoms she is currently having in the past, just not at this level and not all at once. I suppose it is to be expected under the circumstances. The Zyprexa seems to be helping some, especially helping her to sleep at night. I feel better about it after doing some research, but was hoping some others on the board might have input about it. Since this is a new stage for us, I guess I just need to get better at using some of the tools of the trade, like distraction, but Mom can be tough to redirect.

I am grateful for all the board members who post regularly. I have learned a lot over the last couple of years. Thanks to all you caregivers and may God give each of you the strength you need for today! 

Tubamom (aka Sue)



Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 9:30 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 799

Welcome to posting Sue!


My mother has been on Zyprexa with no problems.  When she has a UTI or is in the hospital for any reason, she gets pretty bad behaviorially and very confused.  After the UTI is cleared up, see how she reacts.  Any move can set them off so the move to the SNF could also be causing this, and it might also happen when she is moved to the ALF.  This is actually quite "normal"


I can't tell you how many times my mother was happy to see me, miserable to see me, lovey dovey with me, hating me, ignoring me, smiling at me, etc...  I just never know what I will get when I visit..