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macbeth
@macbeth

Posts: 84
Joined: May 25, 2016

Alzheimers and medications for hyperactivity/anxiety/agitation

Posted by @macbeth, Nov 2, 2016

My husband suffers from dementia. Recently, I have asked his neurologist and GP for a very mild sedative to help deal with his increasing afternoon hyperactivity/anxiety/agitation/illusions. I am being told that they do not prescribe for that; that we must see a psychiatrist, and that many sedatives may lead to further confusion, more illusions, among other side effects, and even death.

The very reason we have declined medications previously, is due to possible side effects. Recently, it seems as though, if there is a bad side effect to a medication, my husband will have it. I’m not a fan of big pharma anyway, and would prefer to go through this as naturally as possible.

I have asked only for a very mild sedative – just enough to take the edge off.

Doesn’t this seem like overkill? I have never heard of such a thing – a GP or a neurologist unable or unwilling to prescribe a very mild sedative, and having to see a psychiatrist to get a prescription for a very mild sedative? I know all kinds of people who are on mild sedatives due to anxiety. Many, many years ago, when my father had dementia, he was prescribed a mild sedative that helped him slow down a little. My father also had illusions, anxiety, agitation, and hyperactivity – isn’t that pretty common in advancing stages of dementia? They make it sound like it is something unusual.

I just don’t understand all this. It seems unsupportive and obstructionist, but I realize that others may look at this differently. So…I’m throwing it out there. Please share your knowledge and experiences.

@macbeth

REPLY

Hi Macbeth, There is an older discussion about Alzheimer’s and medication and agitation in the Caregivers group here:
* Husband with early Alzheimers -question http://mayocl.in/2fd7gbG

Several members weigh in on drugs and their affects. We also sought information from a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. I’m tagging fellow members @clayton48 @shellsk24 @saltyfrog @19lin @jhammer @nanax2 @IndianaScott @rmftucker @sallysue and @lindabf on this discussion to see if they’ve had this experience of being told that a sedative must be prescribed by a psychiatrist.

Liked by macbeth

@colleenyoung

Hi Macbeth, There is an older discussion about Alzheimer’s and medication and agitation in the Caregivers group here:
* Husband with early Alzheimers -question http://mayocl.in/2fd7gbG

Several members weigh in on drugs and their affects. We also sought information from a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. I’m tagging fellow members @clayton48 @shellsk24 @saltyfrog @19lin @jhammer @nanax2 @IndianaScott @rmftucker @sallysue and @lindabf on this discussion to see if they’ve had this experience of being told that a sedative must be prescribed by a psychiatrist.

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I have not had to use sedatives for my sister. She was taking melatonin at night when she moved in along with a diabetes med. I read on here that if you have Alzheimer’s the dementia gets worse and when you stop it gets better. I had her wean off both over two months and cook “real” food again and she has done super. No more diabetes at all. A1C normal. She sleeps great.

Liked by macbeth

@colleenyoung

Hi Macbeth, There is an older discussion about Alzheimer’s and medication and agitation in the Caregivers group here:
* Husband with early Alzheimers -question http://mayocl.in/2fd7gbG

Several members weigh in on drugs and their affects. We also sought information from a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. I’m tagging fellow members @clayton48 @shellsk24 @saltyfrog @19lin @jhammer @nanax2 @IndianaScott @rmftucker @sallysue and @lindabf on this discussion to see if they’ve had this experience of being told that a sedative must be prescribed by a psychiatrist.

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@ColleenYoung
I hope this gets to you I tried to respond on the site, but I am not very good at this system.  All I know about Alzheimer I learned when my father had the illness and that was in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  At that time there was not much medication
for anyone who had Alzheimer’s.  In addition to my father, his sister and one brother had the illness, but they lived in his home country.  Dad did not want to have the disease so when there was a chance for him to get out of it I let him take it, due to a
related fatal illness.
There are better medications today, but if I were to get the illness I think I would rather go the way my Dad did, if I had the chance.  Sorry I can not help more. 19lin

Liked by macbeth

Hello @macbeth I can only add what I know from my experiences with my wife and mother-in-law, and my daughter-in-law’s father. First, I do know side effects and crossover effects of drugs can be very challenging in patients with Alzheimers. The drugs actually increased the agitation in my daughter-in-law’s father and it took them a long while to get the right one, which actually finally helped.

I am not a medical professional at all, but I do know all of the meds for my mother-in-law and my wife were prescribed either by her GP or her neuro-oncologist. It may be the GP realizes she/he does not have the knowledge to know which would be best and is directing you to someone who has a broader knowledge base. Just a guess there…

Peace and strength

Liked by macbeth, sallysue

@colleenyoung

Hi Macbeth, There is an older discussion about Alzheimer’s and medication and agitation in the Caregivers group here:
* Husband with early Alzheimers -question http://mayocl.in/2fd7gbG

Several members weigh in on drugs and their affects. We also sought information from a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. I’m tagging fellow members @clayton48 @shellsk24 @saltyfrog @19lin @jhammer @nanax2 @IndianaScott @rmftucker @sallysue and @lindabf on this discussion to see if they’ve had this experience of being told that a sedative must be prescribed by a psychiatrist.

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Hi @19lin, I got your message. Thank you. I will send you a private message regarding your issues responding on the site. Please note that the message you wrote did get posted on the site in the flow of the discussion. Click this link to see it http://mayocl.in/2ffHBwv.

Thank you for sharing honestly about your father.

macbeth, it is frustrating to find the right combination of medications. My husband is 68 and was diagnosed three years ago. He has done well until a month ago when he was hospitalized for pneumonia. That has taken a toll on his processing and short term memory. He has other health issues so he is not a good subject for what does and does not work for the typical alzheimers patient. However, he does take a mild anti-depressant during the day and trazadone at night. That seems to help. He takes Aricept and has for two years, he started the Namenda last year, but our GP just changed it to Namenda XR, she believes that will give him better cognition for longer periods. I wish I could give you encouragment but until they find a cure we just have to put our faith in the Lord.

I work full-time, financially and for my sanity, I have to work. We have friends that help out and I pray everyday that the Lord will continue to give him the ability to continue to stay at home with limited care until I can stop working. FYI, we have a small dog and that has been a great blessing! He cares for him, walks him and talks to him all day long. I believe God put this little rescue in our lives to rescue my husband.

Many blessings

@colleenyoung

Hi Macbeth, There is an older discussion about Alzheimer’s and medication and agitation in the Caregivers group here:
* Husband with early Alzheimers -question http://mayocl.in/2fd7gbG

Several members weigh in on drugs and their affects. We also sought information from a Mayo Clinic pharmacist. I’m tagging fellow members @clayton48 @shellsk24 @saltyfrog @19lin @jhammer @nanax2 @IndianaScott @rmftucker @sallysue and @lindabf on this discussion to see if they’ve had this experience of being told that a sedative must be prescribed by a psychiatrist.

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You helped me tons! Thank you. Lots to think about without making decisions before I have to. But when I have to I’ll have thought it through. Thank you.

@clayton48

macbeth, it is frustrating to find the right combination of medications. My husband is 68 and was diagnosed three years ago. He has done well until a month ago when he was hospitalized for pneumonia. That has taken a toll on his processing and short term memory. He has other health issues so he is not a good subject for what does and does not work for the typical alzheimers patient. However, he does take a mild anti-depressant during the day and trazadone at night. That seems to help. He takes Aricept and has for two years, he started the Namenda last year, but our GP just changed it to Namenda XR, she believes that will give him better cognition for longer periods. I wish I could give you encouragment but until they find a cure we just have to put our faith in the Lord.

I work full-time, financially and for my sanity, I have to work. We have friends that help out and I pray everyday that the Lord will continue to give him the ability to continue to stay at home with limited care until I can stop working. FYI, we have a small dog and that has been a great blessing! He cares for him, walks him and talks to him all day long. I believe God put this little rescue in our lives to rescue my husband.

Many blessings

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Welcome back @clayton48, so good to hear from you. This information is invaluable.

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