We were ready for a sign off on a new medication after she explained the reason for the change and how the it should help.
They had already done a sleep study, observed Gregory, consulted with his Lieberman provided psychiatrist, and decided on a “baby dose” of Risperidone.
They had been using Ativan on an as necessary basis, had found it necessary to use it every morning for the last week, but that drug is short lived and it was only helping Gregory for a two hour window.
The Risperidone should help throughout the day without over “drugging” him. He will be drowsy for the first week or so but then should acclimate to the drug.
Risperidone is an antipsychotic medicine. It works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain. Risperidone is used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression.) It is also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability. Risperidone may also be used of other purposes, like irritability due to dementia.
The online research I have done says that Risperidone is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. It may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
However, it has been found to help even mood and behavior of residents with Alzheimer's and should help Gregory be more even. It will help him feel more calm (which he has not been for a little while now.)
Also, honestly, the "risk of death" is worth helping Gregory be more comfortable for the time he has left.
I will deeply grieve when he dies but do not need to "hold on" to him for my own sake. I will survive. And so will Gregory, just maybe not in this life.