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Anyone have experience with Klonopin?
My dmil (pwd, 84, stage 6 Alzheimers) is experiencing a lot of agitation and is getting very difficult to manage at home. She lives in her own house (only 2nd place she has every lives, for the past 61 years, which she does not recognize, of course) with my fil (86 yo, in very good health for 86 yo, fil still drives and cooks, etc) with a 24 hour live in aide. But she has been progressively been getting more and more, and MORE agitated and difficult to manage. Borderline violent. She is already on 200 mg/day or Seriqiul but that is not helping the symptoms. The Pysch that we just saw and her Neuro are adding the Klonopin and was just looking for any advise from the wise people here. Anything we should look for or possibly expect? As I said she has been very close a few times in the past week for going to the Geri pysch ward but would like to avoid that, if possible.
My dmil has been on Seriquil since being hospitalized in July with agitation and suicidal talk. She started at 50 mg/2x a day but is now on 100mg/2x a day and it seems to not be having any effect. My dfil will give her another 25 mg as needed but again....it is not having a great effect. We finally got her to a psych but not one was really thrilled with him but he prescribed Klonapin 1 mg/3x a day. We gotta try something because what we have now is not sustainable....her behaviors can be extreamly difficult and she is soooo upset.
My husband's Dr had a very strong negative view about this drug. There is quite a bit written about it that you can read and make up your own mind.
Recent studies have showed that non-medical treatment can be as effective as drugs. There is a lot of educational information on line and at your library. Here is a list of books gathered from posts here. I suggest the Naomi Feil which is not meant to be scanned but read. 36 hour day is more of a book to refer to. All of these are someone's favorite.
The Alzheimer's Action Plan. Dr Doraiswamy's
36 Hour Day
Dementia beyond drugs Allen Power
Dementia Beyond Disease: Enhancing Well Being. Dr. Allan Power'
The Validation Breakthrough. Naomi Feil
Thoughtful Dementia Care: Understanding the dementia experience. Jennifer Ghent-Fuller.
2002 edition is available online in pdf format for free.
Validation::The Feil Method. Naomi Feil
Dancing With Dementia. Christine Bryden
I'm Still Here. John Zeisel
No Act of Love is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia Richard Morgan/Jane Marie Thibault
Insider's Guide To Better Nursing Home Care: 75 Tips You Should Know by Donna M. Reed
An unintended Journey: A Caregivers Guide To Dementia Janet Yagoda Shagam
Before I Forget. B. Smith
Chicken Soup for the Soul:… Amy Newmark
I'm Still Alice Lisa Genova.
Kisses for Elizabeth: A common sense approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Stephanie D Zeman MSN RN
Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s. Robert Butler
Loving Someone Who Has Dementia. Dr. Pauline Boss
On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s. Greg O'Brien, Lisa Genova
Surviving Alzheimer’s: Practical tips and soul-saving wisdom for caregivers. Paula Spencer Scott
Taking Care of Aging Parents Who Didn't Take Care of You. Eleanor Cade
Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer’s. Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle
The Long Goodbye, by Reagan's daughter
Understand Alzheimer's: A First-Time Caregiver's Plan to Understand & Prepare for Alzheimer's & Dementia Calistoga Press
I appreciate all the readings and I agree that technique and approach has a lot to do with care but I feel that my dmil is past any of that making a big impact. She is screaming, I mean screaming when you just put a damp wash cloth to her skin! No amount of explaining, time, gentle, not gentle, works. She does not want to wash now, later, tomorrow or anything!! She thinks she has done or can do whatever needs to be done. She can't/hasn't done any care, cleaning, cooking, etc for a couple of years. She is soldidly in stage 6. Don't even get me started on wanting to GO HOME!! NOW!! or how cold it is in the house (it is 82 + degrees in the house and she has prickly heat rash from all the blankets she has piled on top of her). She gets so upset that she sometimes throws things because we won't take her back to her childhood home. She has not lived in her childhood home for over 61 years. She threatens to call the police and tell them that she is being held against her will.
I am not against behavioral technics but her behavior, I think is out of control for any of these technics to work. Just my .02 cents.
I understand that it is addictive but we all know that my dmil is terminally ill. If she needs it to make her comfortable then so be it. If she was a young woman I would be very concerned about addition but since my dmil is at the end of her life, that is nothing I am worried about. I am glad to hear that it helped you with anxiety. that is what we are trying to fight.
Valarie....I have been exactly where you are and the drug being discussed was haldol which is totally not recommended for LBD. I ended up letting them give it to him. It was the best choice even so. I would not be worried at all about it being addictive. The concern with PWD is that it is thought to cause memory problems. It is also sedating which can lead to falls. I would start small and titrate up.
It is hard when none of the choices are wonderful but you just have to help your mother. You just have to.
I hope you will keep us posted. Your experience will help us learn more about this drug and we care how both of you are doing.
I have been prescribed Klonopin for my anxiety. It really helps when I have panic attacks. I am also on Seroquel. I have found that the Seroquel helps with my racing thoughts and the Klonopin helps with my physical symptoms of anxiety like racing heart and restlessness.
Klonopin can make me feel a bit sleepy but it calms me down and centers me.
It really depends on how many mg are taken. I take 1mg tablets for my anxiety. If your LO is taking a higher dose you may see the lethargy and sleepiness.
Hope this helps a bit.
Thank you everyone who took the time to comment. It is very hard to know what to do with my dmil and her behaviors. Unforntnately, on Friday I was not able to get the Klonopin Rx to be filled due to some "insurance approval" being needed. So we had to go the week end without starting it. Of course, over the week end my dmil behavior escalated to now actually hitting my dfil. It was not hard but still her behavior is moving in a bad direction. There are no behavioral methods we can use since she just can not be reasoned with in anyway. She simply "WANTS TO GO HOME! NOW!" or she is cold, or sweaty or repeat same over and over. Everyone in the house needs to go to bed or she needs to get washed up, etc.
Anyway, I hope that we can get the Klonapin on board today and then we can take things from there. The Pysch put her on 1 mg/ 3x a day. She has also been waking up with what I believe are night time Charlie horses in her calves. Of course, this is not helpful. I believe she has already been taking some Potassium to prevent this. Her Rx have been the same one she has had for years so I do not think these could be caused by a Rx. She also has had "phantom" pains before (complained of something in/on her back) but those have now disappeared, without treatment. When she was in the hospital with the flu that was checked out and nothing was found to cause her feeling there was "something there". Also she felt this in multiple places, bed, chair, hospital so it was not the "bedding".
If this does not work then I know that it would be only a matter of time before she will need an intake geri pysch.....I would like to avoid that if for no other reason than the distruption and distress it will cause everyone.
Yes I am finding out all the problems with prescriptions and the insurance company. I have been "working" with 2 dr and the insurance company to get this approved. Right now I have to say that this is probably our last shot at keeping my dmil from a stint in geri psych. My dfil (86 yo and pretty well all considering) is trying to deal with dmil (with the help of a 24 hour live in aide) but with her being so "difficult" to manage this may be the last try before we have to take more drastic measures. When I saw her actually hitting my dfil (I watch everything or review difficult transition times on a "nanny cam") when they were trying to get her changed for bed (they have done this, obviously numerous times before....with resistance but no actual directed violence...before) I knew we were heading in the wrong direction. My dh (only child so it is all on us) and I live only about 5-10 mins away depending on traffic and weather. I am going to pick it up, hopefully on my way home from work and drop it off to them. I hope that it will help....otherwise I am not sure where this is all heading.....