RSS Feed Print
Calming meds/supplements?
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 9:54 AM
Joined: 7/9/2012
Posts: 117

Ativan and Benedryl work opposite on Mom, instead of relaxing and calming her, they make her aggitated.  I use melatonin and SleepEssence at night for sleeping.

Does anyone have experience with other possibilities for calming and relaxing?  Sometimes a weak cup of coffee helps, but looking for more ideas. 

Thank you!

Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 12:18 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2558

My DH and Dad take trazodone for sleep.  It’s an old school anti-depressant with a side effect of sleepiness.  Few side effects for dementia.  Take about1-1/2 to  2 hours before sleep
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 4:15 PM
Joined: 4/19/2018
Posts: 98

Thank you so much about the suggestion of trazadone and it being an old medication.

Some of the supplements I give DH (MCI) have had a miraculous effect, especially on what looks like depression. I know anti-depressants can be “iffy” due to their differing effects on individuals. I think I will bring this up with the doctor when the timing is appropriate.

I was going to also add, the great good effects of his supplements seem to wear off very quickly, unfortunately.

MN Chickadee
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 5:02 PM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1028

Trazadone does also come up a lot as helpful. My mother takes Celexa, an SSRI, and that helps some to keep her anxiety at bay. It isn't something you can tinker with short term though, it takes a week or two to have the full therapeutic affect. 

Some here have had good luck with forms of cannabis if any of its forms are legal in your state. They report it helping with agitation and sleep. CBD oil is a hemp derivative that supposedly doesn't give any mind altering "high" just helps with anxiety.  CBD oil is legal in some states where marijuana (medicinal or otherwise) is not. These things are not well researched in regards to dementia, there are just anecdotal stories on this forum that are encouraging, and should be used with careful consideration and consulting your LO's doctor. 

If your mom's anxiety is affecting her quality of life and yours, you might want to look at consulting a geriatric psychiatrist. They can help find the right balance of medications to deal with it.  

Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 5:15 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18464

This is very individual so you may need to experiment. Please be advised that most anti-psychotics have a black box warning.


Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 5:34 PM
Joined: 3/8/2018
Posts: 812

My mom is on a low dose of Remeron (antidepressant) that helps her sleep at night, and gets a 1/4 of a .25mg xanax for incidents of anxiety at other times
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 6:21 PM
Joined: 12/14/2017
Posts: 1728

Natural Supplement Magnesium Citrate.....but check drug interactions..this is a very calming gentle supplement.
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 8:13 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18464

But please nothing without checking with the Dr.
Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 9:48 PM
Joined: 3/11/2018
Posts: 546

Just a heads up for anyone reading....Benedryl and tylenol PM are NOT to be taken (None of the "pm" pain relievers are allowed) if the person is on Aricept. Only regular tylenol for aches and pains. 

So far my mother sleeps well but when that day arrives I think the melatonin sounds like a good start.

His Daughter
Posted: Saturday, July 14, 2018 9:29 AM
Joined: 6/25/2014
Posts: 2272

Thank you ExpressoTime, I had a fright when I saw "Benadryl".      Everyone should be told that ALL OTC sleep aids and benadryl should never be used for any person with dementia.  Please google some of the studies on it.  It lowers the acetylcholine in the brain, something ALZ patients are missing to begin with.  

My dad's doctor said the only safe sleep aid was Trazadone.  We combined that with a small amount of OTC Melatoinin and it worked like a charm.  He slept like a baby from 10pm to 8am every morning.  

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 8:31 PM
Joined: 12/2/2019
Posts: 1

What do you mix for the calming cream. My grandmother uses ABH Calming Cream, but her Medicare want pay for it.
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 1:02 PM
Joined: 12/17/2018
Posts: 287

Hello CaringOne,

My mother was like your mother - reacting adversely to meds.  Trazodone was terrible for her.  It made her hallucinate.  She's still on a tiny dose - 12.5mg - at night for sleep.  That's all she can tolerate.

I have her on several supplements that have been miraculous to keep her emotionally balanced.  I have a degree in food science so read studies and didn't rely on anecdotal information when choosing what to try. 

You can take a look at this post that I did on the Clinical Trials forum:

I didn't list everything that I give her there - just the ones that have made the most difference.  Like Misssy says, Magnesium is also a good pick for calming.  The form can make a difference.  Magnesium citrate is calming but it will also loosen the bowels.  If constipation is a problem, this would be a good pick.  My mother takes Magnesium Glycinate (or Bisglycinate - same thing).  The magnesium is attached to glycine which is a very calming amino acid.  Another form called magnesium L-threonate, often called 'NeuroMag', has been researched for the improvement of cognition.  I tried my mother on it but didn't notice a big difference - except for the price.

As everyone is so unique, you might need to do some trial and error to find what works best for your mother.  My mother is so happy now.  There's hardly a time when she isn't smiling.  And yet, she's not overstimulated which seemed to be the issue on most meds.  

Good luck!

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 2:58 PM
Joined: 6/11/2019
Posts: 517

Trazadone and Melatonin every night generally ensures that we both get sleep! This combo has only failed once or twice over several months.

Mom was also prescribed Ativan as needed and I use it sparingly. While it DOES calm her down when she is super agitated, it cranks up her confusion exponentially for most of the next day/evening depending on when she takes it. I have to decide whether the meltdown (in progress or on the verge of) is bad enough to warrant what I know will follow.

Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:31 PM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 56

Ativan and Benadryl will make her lose her memory even more if she takes them everyday. I would suggest personally a liquid magnesium supplemnent . I personally find it relaxing and it really doesn't take much. If not giving her a chamomile tea every night. Benzodiazepines will cause growing anxiety the rest of the time. I would not suggets melatonine it has a cognitive impact and can cause a depressed mood and nightmares.
Mobile AL
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 11:31 PM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 44

My sister had a rare type of cancer (lymphoma) called mycosis fungoides for which there were no treatments; all that could be done was to try treatment after treatment hoping one would help. 

She had gotten worse the last year (she died Aug 4, 2019) and was in a great deal of pain the last few months. She was already on very heavy doses of Norco and Morphine but even that was not helping with the pain. 

A few months before she passed away, after her cancer doctor said they had tried everything they could but were out of options, we asked her about marijuana. Alabama still considers it illegal but the doctor said all she could do was to try it because there was nothing more the cancer center could do. She said that if it just gave her some break from the pain or helped her get more than a couple hours sleep at night then continue using it. She did suggest that my sister smoke it in a pipe and to be very careful that it was from a source we knew could be trusted to not add anything to the marijuana because there were unknown additives in the plant and oils on the 'street market'.

I'm guessing it may have given my sister three months of less pain episodes and she was able to eat a little more without the nausea striking so she at least had a little relief and was more comfortable.

Granted, cancer is different from dementia but I appreciate the doctor giving us a heads-up about the street variety. Also, the doctor knew what meds my sister was taking and assured me there would not be any interactions. I was my sister's caregiver and also my mother's (cancer, dementia) and now my father's (dementia). I am a stickler for being honest and upfront with the doctors. I've got to be prepared for what side effects (good or bad) to look for with any medicine (or supplement), possible interactions and how I need to respond.


× Close Menu