taking less psychoactive drugs

Effects on the hubster of less psych drugs:

  • He smiles more and it reaches his eyes

  • Less Parkinsonism

  • He eats a little more

  • Is a bit more energetic (a mixed bag for sure!). He spent most of yesterday afternoon in the dining room, sitting in the chairs, studying the pattern in the rug.

  • No more constipation–back to daily poo (hoping it will soon no longer be before 6am, though!)

  • Just as sleepy, just as willful, just as strong, just as likely to spit out pills, just as much issues w/peeing & pooing, just as hard to get him to do my bidding(!)

For the first time, no copay for his drugs yesterday–hospice covers what he’s taking now in full (presumably not the finasteride for enlarged prostate, which is unrelated to his hospice-qualifying condition, but I’ll find out for sure when I refill it). Copays weren’t a big expense before, though–all of his meds are generics. ~$80/month. About the same as I was spending on depends + chux, which are now shipped to me at no cost by Medicare. If he were totally incontinent, it would save more.

Speaking of drugs, on hospice you get just 2 weeks worth of each prescription at a time. Luckily the pharmacy we use is just a mile away, has a drive-up window, and also delivers for free (but I do not abuse that privilege). With an aide 5 mornings a week, I have no problem stopping by the pharmacy except on weekends.


Following your progress in time. I would say that is especially true of Depakote; I believe one of the medications you’ve mentioned.
Good Luck and take time for yourself too

DH was prescribed 3 Depakote pills/day (anti-seizure). Just taking 1 has prevented seizures so far. I’m generally of the opinion that less medication is more–if it works. He stopped swallowing them–they’re big. I’d have a lot of trouble with them myself.

Just yesterday I picked up his new Depakote prescription–capsules, which I empty into a small serving of yogurt or applesauce as lunch dessert. I add cinnamon & sugar to the applesauce to be sure he doesn’t taste anything off. I mix extra preserves into plain yogurt or use one of those small cups of berry yogurt for the same reason. So far, so good.

I now grind his breakfast pills (in a small mortar & pestle) and stir into his juice. Which is usually pulpy oj so he won’t notice extra texture. And now I give him juice first to be sure he finishes it. This is sertraline (zoloft–for OCD), olanzapine (anti-psychotic), and finasteride (for enlarged prostate). He’s getting half the sertraline and olanzapine he used to. So he’s a bit crazier/more OCD, but less Parkinson-y.

Lunch pills are Depakote and olanzapine. He usually swallows that small pill (now that he;s back on 2.5mg than 5mg per pill). He no longer takes amlodapine (BP). He doesn’t really need it as his BP is usually ~120/70.

For his dinner pills (olanzapine, sertraline, and clonopin for sleep), I stuff them into a small Trader Joe’s mint chip ice cream sandwich for dessert and smooth the ice cream over the holes. So far, so good.

H’s sleeping better. He’s usually asleep for 11-12 hours, waking up only once. He has soaking wet Depends when he gets up (around 5:30am). Today he didn’t poop till 9am (yay!) and did it in the toilet. (He finally was willing to accompany me out of the bathroom just now!). Giving him snack of berries & walnuts and reheated coffee from earlier. His appetite is better on lower drug dosages, too.


Just taking 1 has prevented seizures so far… sleeping better… soaking wet Depends when he gets up… poop in the toilet… His appetite is better…

Great to hear how these rough areas have smoothed out—for now at least. So great that the Depends are now allowed to serve their function, at least at night. Hoping this lasts for a good while.