• Hallucinations/Illusions

    Asked by ShellB on Saturday, May 18, 2013


    Has anyone experienced hallucinations or illusions from any type of medication or treatment for cancer?

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      I do not recall my dad having any hallucinations from the treatments for either of his cancers. He did earlier experience a urinary tract infection that, believe it or not, has as one of its symptoms hallucinations which went away after treatment with antibiotics. This was in the form of hearing sounds that were not there.

      At this stage, though, during end of life care, there are hallucinations and strange dreams from the progression of his disease. They treated this with Haldol or haloperidol, that has worked amazingly most of the time.

      almost 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Hon, reality is just an illusion/hallucination albeit a very pesky one.

      I was acquainted with a woman who had hallucinations from Xanax. She thought people were coming through the walls o take her. Once convinced they were coming to party with her rather than do harm, she calmed down and was able to deal much better.

      A friend of a friend took some awful pill and wound up jumping off a bridge. She has no memory of it.

      The cancer treats, all by themselves, are so horrific that they can affect perception and awareness. Certain molds can cause hallucinations and so can specific food allergies.

      Just try to put a positive spin on any particular thing you might be experiencing. Play whatever it is out in your head and then change it, as required, to be something you either desire or with which you can more easily deal.

      I had lots of morphine and oxycontin which ought to have produced hsallucinations but I was in so much pain the pills barely knocked the edge off and I lived from pain pill to pain pill to pain pill instead of hour by hour.

      almost 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I did not have hallucinations or illusions - but I had lots and lots of very weird dreams, some where nightmares - some i remember, but most were just odd feelings as I woke up - something was going on that was disturbing but I could not remember the details. The first few days after infusion treatment were the worst.

      almost 5 years ago
    • BobbyG's Avatar

      Hi, Bob here. Yes, while being treated with Interleukin 2 for renal cancer. I did have some quite vivid hallucinations. IL2 is a bio therapy. However, I believe the hallucinations where a side effect of the variety of narcotic pain meds I had been receiving. I asked that the narcotics be stopped and the hallucinations stopped. My pain was being managed with Demerol, Dilaudid, Oxycontin.
      I hope this helps.

      almost 5 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Hi ShellB,

      I'm Aliza, a BC patient, and the site's unofficial Medical Librarian. I like what FreeBird and Bob had to say to you. Additionally, I think perhaps, it might be a good idea for the psychiatrist at your treating institution (who should have insight into Cancer patients) to weigh in on this. Hallucinations are hallucinations and psychiatrists are expert at determining the cause whether it be from a drug [including chemotherapy] or an organic cause (a dementia or psychosis). Please do not make the mistake of thinking that I'm labeling your loved one/friend "crazy" because I mentioned a psychiatrist. They are just the type of physician who's the expert in this area of medicine. Even Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia are treatable illnesses, and many people who have them can live more or less "normal" lives.

      I'm unfortunately familiar with hallucinations in a different context (my late mom had dementia). It was helpful to have a consultation with a psychiatrist.

      Wishing you the best outcome,

      almost 5 years ago

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