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Treatment of Behavioral Symptoms: When to Consider Antipsychotic Medications in LBD - Page 5

Going To The Emergency Room

People with LBD sometimes require emergency care. This may be because of behavioral symptoms or another reason, such as a fall or a heart attack. Caregivers should be prepared for emergencies ahead of time, by asking the physicians who treat their loved ones for copies of the patient’s medical history and medication list and bringing these to the emergency room.

Many emergency room physicians are not familiar with LBD or its standard treatments and medication sensitivities. Caregivers can download copies of the LBD Medical Alert Wallet Card and print copies of Treating LBD Psychosis in advance and provide them to emergency room physicians. (Physicians can also access this directly at www.lbda.org/go/ER.)  They should also ask emergency room physicians to contact the physician who regularly treats their loved ones’ LBD.

If the emergency room physicians want to give an antipsychotic medication to a LBD patient, they should warn caregivers about the possibility of a severe reaction.

You Are Not Alone

Behavioral symptoms such as hallucinations, agitation, and aggression are often the worst part of LBD.  In the most difficult situations remember to:

  • Remain calm
  • Respond to the thoughts or feelings that created the behavior
  • Provide reassurance to your loved one
  • Be able to call on friends or family members for immediate assistance
  • Leave the room or the house, if you can do so safely
  • Return later, when the situation has calmed down
  • And, if necessary, dial 911 in case of emergency

Remember that you are not alone in dealing with LBD. Seek out support from family and friends. You can get help from other people coping with LBD through local support groups and the online LBD community.