Mom’s psychiatric nurse practitioner emailed me today. He’s very pleased with how mom is doing on the Abilify, and says it’s time to lower the dose. It’s a safety thing. I asked him to explain what side-effects he was concerned with. He shared that the risk of sudden death/stroke increases from 2.5% to 4% on the medication, and because dementia changes over time, best practice is to taper back on the medication every six months or so to see how the patient is doing without as much of it. If her anxiety and grumpiness returns, he’ll put her back on the dose she was on previously.
What I don’t know, of course, is what mom’s base-line risk of stroke is to begin with. Her blood pressure in controlled, but she no longer takes cholesterol medication.
While I confess to feeling very uneasy about loosing the new improved mom, I do know that should her irritability return, we have a fix for that. He’s the doc, and has done amazingly by her. Fingers crossed!