My client is in stage three of alzhiemers and is legally blind. SHe has been having all kindsof stomach issues since she started on this medication and if anything she is sleeping more than she was before she started taking it. It is hard to get her up and going, hard to get her to even want to leave the house lately. SHe has been on this for 17 days.
Galantamine - Is this really going to help someone who is in advanced alzheimer?
Added 30 Aug 2012:
It was hard for the doctors to gauge her stage because of her almost blindness but they are saying 3rd stage. She no longer remembers any short term memory and she was all ready sleeping a lot which comes with the alzheimers but this new terrible stomach ache is just another horror for her. I know there is nothing that will bring anything back, I am a senior in college in psychology but if this is going to make her sleep more, have terrible stomach issues, and just want to go back to bed why make her suffer? Her son lives in Washington and she lives in Arkansas, I am a "hired hand" so to say because she has no relatives here at all. She even acts like this is making he really depressed. I have been with her a short 8 months but never heard her say she wanted to die until this morning.
Hello Ianaye and welcome to DC. Stage 3 of AD is called moderate. Advanced is the 4th and unfortunately last stage. The 4 stages are: pre-dementia, early, moderate and advanced. If your client is truly in the advanced stage then it is advanced. But with your client sounding like still mobile but needing direction and help with everything and hopefully eating, then that would be the moderate stage. No matter the stage, it is difficult enough and frustrating for the person who may be cognoscente enough to know what is going on though blind by sight... hearing is still there.
The medication is thought to help with the memory process and help to remember. It isn't however going to slow the advancement of the illness. Stomach issues are common and "should" get better with time. However, with this medication... it is really important to get your client to drink a lot of water every day. I realize that might be a challenge but as soon as she/he is up and toileted... start the drinking because that will help, too, and to take the medication with as much water as is tolerated at the time. The illness does have its challenges and sleep is notable, too.
I hope that has helped answer your question... if not, please comment again and I will try to help again.
I hate to say this, but if I had a diagnosis of stage 3 alzheimers, I'd be depressed too. Do you talk to her son at all? Does she have visiting nurses? Someone needs to talk to the dr about this and unfortunately it can't be you. I suppose if you are with her when she sees the dr you could offer what you see. But I don't think they'd take a phone call from you. My opinion of any of these meds with moderate alzheimers is still out. About 50% of my patients have alzheimers and most are on one of them.
My dad was on galantamine. After my mother passed away I became his fulltime caregiver. A year went by and his neurologist was thinkingof taking him off the medication, because I was interacting with my dad so much and getting him involved with a lot of activities. While being on the medication my dad's appetite was going down hill, I couldn't get him to eat anything, he was sleeping long hours and it was hard for me to get him up. Now that he is off the medication, his memory is a little more keen, his appetite has come back and he is eating on his own, before, it got to the point I was making him shakes, and I was feeding him. My dad was always saying his arms were heavy and now he doesn't complain about that anymore. He was always cold before and now he doesn't complain anymore. I am happy with the way he is now, maybe galantamine is good for some Alzheimer patients, but for now we are keeping him off the medication.
- Galantamine Information for Consumers
- Galantamine Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Galantamine (detailed)
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