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Risperidone For Dementia Tia?

My mother suffers from dementia caused by a stroke (tia) and has gotten progressively (slowly) worse over the last 6 yrs. She has been on toprol for blood pressure and coumadin for stroke. She also has a mild irregular heart beat. Now her agressive nature has proceeded to get worse, she was put on risperidone by a phyciatrist. (one time 5 minute visit). And she takes 0.5 mg twice a day. She is like a zombie and sleeps most of the time. Not normal for her. The warning on the label is" don't give to elderly dementia patients , may cause stroke". Also, it conflicts with blood pressure meds. She never took naps or slept in the daytime. She is able to feed herself, wash herself (with help), find her room and the bath room. She isn't incontinent .. When she is frightened or mistreated she gets angry. (this has always been her nature, even before the stroke. She can usually express her feelings and self in some way for us to understand. There must be something else they can give her?
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replied April 17th, 2008
Cerebro-vascular dementia
Risperidone is an neuroleptic (anti-psychotic) drug basically used for treating schizophrenia and mania. It is also used for treating psychotic symptoms (hallucinations) and aggressiveness in some neurological disorders like dementia.
In cases of dementia anti-psychotic drugs should be used in doses as small as possible in order to minimize the side effects. Sleepiness is one of the side effects. In case of Risperidone that would be 0.25-0.5 mg twice a day. You can try to decrease the dose to 0.25 mg twice a day.
Her aggressiveness can be also due to anxiety. In that case antidepressants (paroxetine, sertraline) may have better effect.
You should consult some neurologist about all these possibilities.
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