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 Getting pills down 
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:11 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Tucson AZ
Post Getting pills down
Hi all- this week my hubby can't seem to get 2 of his oblonged shaped pills down. Caregiver crushed one of them and put in ice cream and hubby keeps chewing the other one. Do you have any suggestions and do you know if it's okay to crush namenda, aricpet and open the capsule for selegiline (elderpryl)? Yes I know I can ask a pharmacist but you all have so much knowledge I'd rather start with you. Do you have any ideas. That one pill he takes but then always coughs it back up!

Today was our 27 year wedding anniversary. It was a good day for him as the caregiver took him to the store to buy some flowers for me. He was tickled pink to give them to me. So cute. He didn't know what they were for but he loved giving them. He told me he loved me and I love to hear those words. Before they were spoken so often by him and now not often enough. I'm thankful for the day and no major drama today. Thank you
Lori


Sat Sep 12, 2009 1:54 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 743
Location: LA
Post Crushable pills and celebrations
Hi, Lori, as far as crushing namenda is concerned, my primary care physician gave me a starter pkg of Namenda which had 10 mg as well as 5 mg dosages. My husband's geriatric psychiatrist has prescribed 5 mg only morning and evening. So PCP recommended I cut the 10 mg in half. I did and it stands to reason if it can be cut in half, it could be crushed in many tiny pieces. Right? Seems right to me. I don't know about the aricept as I use the Exelon Patch for Mr B. Aricept made him cry. I have crushed seroquel and put it in his peanut butter sandwich. The pharmacist said I could do that.

And a big congratulations on the anniversary! 27? Wow! Way to go!

DrP

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"See this lady she's 85 but she's nice" When I joined in 2007 this is the way Mr B. introduced me to the people only he knew,he added "You need to listen to her" he was 89 then, death due to Lewy Body Dementia/pneumonia in 2009.


Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:05 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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Lori,

Whether Namenda, Aricept, and Selegiline can be crushed is really something you should discuss with a pharmacist.

And speak with the MD about alternatives. What about changing from Aricept to the Exelon patch? You also might ask if there's a non-pill form of a Selegiline-equivalent available. (There is a tablet for something that dissolves in the mouth. And I think Apokyn is administered via an injection.)

Perhaps you should ask for a referral to a swallow study? And perhaps liquids should be thickened at this point?

Robin


Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:28 am
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:23 am
Posts: 201
Post post subject
Hi Lori

I did have the conversation with a pharmacist recently about cutting or crushing Namenda.
She had to look it up but couldn't find anything contraindicating crushing.
The way she explained it to me was that both Namenda and Aricept are film coated. If they are film coated they may be crushed or cut. They film coat them so they don't taste bad.

If they are enteric coated or extended release they can not be cut or crushed as they are intended to absorb in the intestinal tract not the stomach.

When my LO first started Aricept the doc said to split the 10mg tab to save money. He didn't think it would be too much of a difference if the pill didn't split perfect but it was only for a month anyway before he started the full dose. We have been crushing the Aricept all along and putting it in applesauce. This is working for us.
Mary


Sat Sep 12, 2009 11:19 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:52 am
Posts: 154
Location: Michigan
Post 
Lori,

I too cut pills to save $$ - with the docs ok - as we have hit the donut hole on his drug insurance.

Happy Anniversary! I like the flowers story.

Karen


Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:14 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:11 pm
Posts: 117
Location: Tucson AZ
Post 
Thanks everyone. I also found if I give him just 2 at a time he does better also. I'm sorry, but I don't know what thickening liquids means and how do you do it?


Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:01 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post 
There are many kinds of thickening agents. The type I prefer is Simply Thick.

Before you go to the trouble of thickening, get a swallow study done to see if this is necessary or if it will even help. Also, you need to learn what level of thickening is required (there are 3).


Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:07 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:38 pm
Posts: 712
Location: CA
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karenpm--In 2008, we hit the donut hole in April and I started the pill-cutting routine. Then the VA re-opened the medical benefit program for vets who did not have service-related disabilities and I enrolled Jerome immediately just so we could access the prescription benefit ($8/month per med). So if there is any chance your LO qualifies for VA benefits, get him enrolled right away. I know that with Jerome, halving his doses because of the cost wasn't great for him ... but we all do what we have to do. Good luck!

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Renata (and Jerome-in-Heaven)


Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:39 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:52 am
Posts: 154
Location: Michigan
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Renata,

Thanks for the info. I am planning to do that in January. Because with us both retired, our income for 2009 will be very low and I think they look at your previous years income as to whether or not he will qualify.

Is that how it works?

Thanks in advance.

Karen


Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:20 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:02 am
Posts: 537
Location: MI
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if you're in the donut hole try begging samples from the doctors- I was able to get quite a few from her primary care doctor- including ones that other doctors had prescribed. Each time you go to a doctor explain you're in the hole and ask! at the worse they say no- at the best you get free pills
Sharon

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syt


Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:07 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Getting pills down
Dale takes several vitamin supplements at breakfast and he has been choking on them a past two days. I bought a pill crusher. Does anyone have any clever advice. I know about putting them in applesauce. That will get boring, I'm sure. Do you mix them in jam? How about in hard cooked eggs?

Are there other suggestions?

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:02 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Getting pills down
First, remember that what is boring to us might be perfectly acceptable and even comforting to our LOs. So if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :P

Coy doesn't have to have his pills crushed (yet) but he likes to take them with a soft solid. When we travel I take individual servings of applesauce and/or pudding, because those don't require refrigeration. But what he really prefers, and uses day in and day out twice a day, is a little cup of Activia yogurt. I buy different flavors, but that is mostly to satisfy my need for variety. I think that Coy would be satisfied eating the same kind twice a day indefinitely.

My dad used to take his crushed pills in orange juice, I think.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Getting pills down
Mix with ice cream, peanut butter, yogurt, smoothies, Wendy's Frosty's -- something thick that will hopefully mask the taste and texture.


Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:19 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Getting pills down
Good list, Robin. This morning, I mashed up some soft fruit and with the ground up pills in it, I fed it to him. I did not add the gel type pills because they seem to still go down easily. I bought a pill crusher online and then noticed at the grocery store that some pill crushers were offered there.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:53 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:06 am
Posts: 63
Post Re: Getting pills down
My hb likes sparkling water with ice, especially tonic water. He'll take his meds just fine, but occasionally I have to give him a half Xanax when he gets especially agitated. Xanax dissolves beautifully in that tonic water. I get two glasses and casually sip mine, and before long his is down and the situation defused. I don't know what other meds could work that way, but the pharmacist will!


Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:22 am
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