Hospice Community
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Avatar universal


My mother has Parkinson's disease and is not a candidate for a feeding tube and is having difficulty with swallowing.  She is on a honey thick liquid and soft mechanical food diet.  She has movement problems and has to have help doing most things.  Last week she began receiving services from Home Care and Hospice group but she is not in any pain.  Today my father went to the pharmacy to pick up some meds that evidently the nurse told him had been called in.  The pharmacy called to talk to me because my dad was confused about the meds.   WHY would morphine, lorazepam and atropine be prescribed for her?  These are meds given when a person is near the end of life?
3 Responses
547368 tn?1440545385
Hello and Welcome,

You have a valid question. Given what you have stated I see no reason for the Morphine to be ordered.

Atropine is often ordered to dry up secretions. It may help reduce extra saliva and thus avoid choking.

Lorazapam is used for anxiety and sometimes as a muscle relaxer. Is your mom anxious - or is it possible that they want to reduce her anxiety when swallowing?  Caution should be taken as it can also reduce one's gag reflex.

Whatever the reasons for these new meds - you need to ask the rationale. Your parents are fortunate to have you overseeing things - and intervening if necessary.

Please let us know what you find out. I'll be interested to hear the theory behind the medications. Bless you.

Avatar universal
Bless you in your journey with your mother. I just buried my best friend My Dad two days ago from Advanced Parkinson. At present i am being treated with drugs just to get through this deep grief.  My heart goes out to you. Its the family caretaker that falls apart afterward and i encourage all of you to become more aware of the effects of the aftermath and the intense pain and anguish of those who lovinly cared for them . God Bless You My Daddy and God Bless you on your journey.
Avatar universal
It is very common to have a "comfort pack" placed in the home on admission to hospice. Morphine, Lorazepam, and atropine are the basis of most comfort packs. As a hospice nurse I want these medications in the home so that in urgent situations they are there and available. It never fails that the times I need those meds the most are during the times it is hardest to get them (after hours, weekends, etc.)  Better to have the meds there and not need them than to need them and not have them!
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