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Advise for caregivers if patient is not wanting meds.....

cbeckman's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2010

I've been reading posts about patients not taking meds for one reason or another. I struggle with this an extreme amount with my mom and have come to learn a few things. Maybe this can help to know these things.

1. if pills are a problem, GO LIQUID. they have lots of meds that are in liquid form.

2. Pain patches are a big help, Fentanyl comes in differnt strengths and will help cut down on other pain meds.

3. If your patient is on Ativan and it's not working, be very persistant on switching. Ativan is for anxiety/nasusea, but in a lot of people it doesn't work. Haldol makes a world of difference. it not only helps with anxiety, it helps come down the combativeness too.

4. Stoll softeners are generally priscribed in pills, if you are prescribed Senna, it to comes in a liquid.

5. They also have patches for nausea.

6. You are your patients best advocate. The nurse's do their best to help you manage pain and discomfort, but I have notice that it is pretty rutine. They dont always see what you are going through so be specific and ask questions or suggest trying something different.

I have had so many problems with giving my mom meds. She has stomach cancer and is pretty close to the end. She has had a lot of problems swallowing the pills and they kept giving her more and more. Mom has been in a dilusional state for a little while now and it has come to the point where taking pills are torturing her. Last week we hit a breaking point. My mom choked on one of her pills and giving her mental status, she looked at me and said I enjoyed watching her choke. She is extremely combative and we had a night from hell, hitting, kicking, cursing etc. I dropped a pill because she knocked it out of my hand, I went to pick it up and she kicked me in the ribs. IT"S NOT WORTH IT! The object is to have the patient pain free and comfortable. I called the nurse in the morning and explained what happened, I told her that she is tortured by trying to take these meds. She chokes on them,and throws up to the point that it comes out her nose. She don't want to take them and I am at the point that I am not going to force her. I told her the meds are causing her more harm than the cancer is.

We are now only taking liquid morphine and haldol. She has a fentinal patch too. She is no longer combative about taking the meds and is so much more comfortable. because of her dilusional state, she sometimes wont take the liquid meds, but I find that not argueing is the best road to take and usually if I go back 5mins later, she is more willing to take them. If this doesnt work, then I take an ounce or two of boost and mix the meds in it.

Hopefully this info will help if you have some of the same problems I am going through, but also keep in mind that not everyones body processes meds the same way. Do the best you can, thats all you can do.

mswijiknyc's picture
Posts: 421
Joined: Oct 2010

thank you so much. I'm taking everything into consideration at this point.

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