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medications may work differently with Alzheimer's - beware
Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2018 5:31 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556

do doctors inform Alzheimer patients that drugs may have different effects on them?

No one has ever mentioned this with me in medical setting. These are things I experienced, add your's if you want to help other patients

1. Shingles: anti-virals

beware kidney shut down. Doctor did not believe me years ago and said clobbering the shingles was more important. I did not urinate in 12 hours and the patch seemed to disappear so I stopped. My ankles and hands were swelling, and I began to urinate the next day. The shingles bump came back last night so I took an anti-viral intending to just do the whole course but something told me to look it up. has warning they can cause "renal failure in some people with comprised immune systems".

I cut pills in half and am going with reduced dose. The headache etc is bad enough but interfering with kidneys can not be good.

2. benadryl - even spraying on shingles or rashes makes my kidneys or bladder stop working

3. ativan or other anti-anxiety meds - reduces cognitive and physical abilities (weakness) for 48 hours after taking 1/2 pill. Also notice low urine output.

4. the new antibiotics Cipro, Levaquin etc -

tendonitis lasting a year after enduring a week treatment 

feeling out of it, unstable to point of danger

5. anti-psychotics

can make me crazy and I developed tongue movements (tardive dyskensia) that are permanent. Very dangerous for dementia patients.


I reported side effects to doctor and pharmacist when this first happened to me but once I had Alzheimer's diagnosis they disbelieved anything I said about drug sensitivity but it is real.

My home remedy for shingles itching (or rashes that itch) is white vinegar compress.

I also developed large brown plaques on my skin when taking the ALZ meds after first diagnosed. Doctor(s) told me they were "old age spots". I asked, "Over night?" No response. When I got off the med they went away. On cbd oil increased dose I have almost NO old age brown spots anywhere. My visual "fruit flies" and lightening bolts the eye doctor said would be with me for life, also gone.

I had nightmares on Namenda, found I did better on 50% less of ANY med I had to take but Aricept and Namenda had me so wound up I couldn't tolerate it. No benefits.

TRUST YOUR BODY - believe it if you think a med is not helping or causing problems.

Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2018 1:04 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18379

OK. Stop the train. CBD for age spots. I'm in. What do I get and how much do I use?
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 8:09 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556

JFKOC - ha! That was so quick and funny! and, exactly.

really, what the heck? I mean I had had brown irregular freckles all over and some maybe 1/2 inch at biggest. When I took Aricept they turned into 5" puddles of brown all over that doctor said were "old age spots". That was an allergic reaction in my view, aside from the med making me too jumpy and tense.

When I quit the pill they shrank back to just a little bigger than what they were originally. Then last week I had my glasses on in the bath tub and saw even my hands are clear. what? I can only say I have increased dose of cbd over last few weeks. Aren't they supposed to be permanent sun damage?

can you think of another reason?


Shingles antiviral - no way I can go on with flu and shingles potentially spreading so I took a chance and cut the antivirals in half. I took a half 3 times a day and have kidney function working. The shingles blisters are drying already on this low dose. What they prescribe is always too much for me and they always say I have to take full dose!

I added a probiotic and vitamin c. I treat the itching with vinegar compress.

Now I'm panicking about being moved. I am leaving the calm place of woods and no traffic and cheap everything for earthquake fire ravaged over populated high density traffic?  

Also other worries creeping up on me. 

I made myself brownies, Ghirardelli box with extra cup chocolate chips and 2 eggs, because I don't drink. This is best batch made in years, no under or over baked.


Happy New Year! 

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 12:45 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16421

Actually, everyone responds individually to the brain medications, especially in older adults.  All medications should be monitored for expected response and side effects.  Thanks for the reminder, Alz+.

IMHO, there comes a time when PWDs should live in a relative bubble.  They should have less raw exposure to the outside world.  They should live in an oasis of calm and consistency.  So, Alz+, you should have very limited exposure to traffic and noise.  Make that known to your family.  You will have to remind them until it sinks in.  

I live on a very busy street but my home is an oasis of quiet and peace.  I consciously put up barriers to limit what comes in from the outside world. It's not easy but it is worth it.

Iris L.