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Anti depressant question
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 2:04 PM
Joined: 8/21/2021
Posts: 22

My mom was prescribed seraquel for anxiety and that seems to be working for that.  My mom also goes on crying binges, and says things like "I want to die".  The doctor says the anti-anxiety medication won't help with the crying, she wants to prescribe anti-depressant for that.  My question is..what does a anti-depressant do for someone with Dementia? Same as for others? My mom is delicate when it comes to taking medications.  She seems to act the opposite than what is described for the medicaton.  For instance she started seeing more hallucinations when she was prescribed Nuplazid. Any help would be appreciated.
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 2:21 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17587

Many older adults have a paradoxical effect from psychoactive drugs.  Read about the Beers list of drugs for older adults.  Also read a lot about non-drug ways of helping your PWD feel better.  She doesn't have to feel miserable.


Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 3:13 PM
Joined: 8/24/2020
Posts: 202

My mom is also very sensitive to medications. Her doctor put her on a very low dose of the anti-depressant Lexapro, just 5 mg, and that made a huge difference in her moods. It stopped the crying binges and the "I want to die" episodes. It really did help her general mood and she started enjoying many things again. 

However she still has night-time anxiety and we're considering an anti-anxiety medication to complement the Lexapro. I have heard that some anti-anxiety drugs like Ativan can have a paradoxical effect on some elderly and increase anxiety, as can some anti-depressants. 

Farm Gal
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 3:58 PM
Joined: 11/17/2016
Posts: 88

The neurologist prescribed Remeron (mirtazapine) two years ago for my husband and started really low and has increased in twice.  He now takes 30 mg and it has been a blessing.  No crying and much calmer.
live in daughter
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 6:12 PM
Joined: 10/25/2021
Posts: 22

Hi, my Mom was very sensitive to meds as well. She was on Lexapro which helped to lift her mood.  She also had night time anxiety. We tried Seroquel but that did not abate her anxiety.

We then switched to Risperidone which worked much better in reducing her anxiety at night. We found giving Risperidone at about 3:00 pm in the afternoon helped to get ahead of the anxiety. We used Xanax as needed for breakthrough anxiety. 

This combination worked for her.

Hope this helps.


mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:17 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 283

Cymbalta was a fabulous solution to my mother’s depression. It also addressed some pain.  She did get pretty weirdo for one evening after we started the 30 mgs.  When we upped it to 60 mgs a couple weeks later there were no obvious side affects. 

It was the most important med in her cocktail of meds for a long time.  

Quilting brings calm
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 1:37 PM
Joined: 10/16/2020
Posts: 579

My Mom is on a generic patch for her memory and Xanax for anxiety.  She was switched from Trazadone to generic Remeron in August.  It made a big difference overall.  Her neurology NP thought part of her dementia symptoms were actually due to depression.  The Medication change was amazing.  She really is much better.  Her family doctor saw her several times this year and was really happy the last time he saw her ( after the  medication change).  Her official diagnosis is now MCI. My stepdad causes a lot of stress and drama though, so I still see a lot of stage 4 behaviors more than I like.  Neither doctor wants to jump up the dosage level yet  since they see the cause of  the breakthrough crying etc to be external. 

It’s worth a trial period of the new medication for your LO. 

Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2021 1:27 PM
Joined: 8/21/2021
Posts: 22

Thank you all for the responses.  They are very helpful.  I will bring up the subject with the doctor when we go in December.
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