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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

With any new med watch for side effects. It is always best to start or stop one medication and wait for at least 10 days to 2 weeks to see what changes happen. Check out the known side effects. If you see something new then ask your pharmacist! Not your doctor but your pharmacist. They are the ones trained to know medication interaction and side effects. Recently I started a new medication and quickly started having gastrointestinal difficulties. Doctor said she could start me on a new medication for my distress. Pharmacist said... it's that new med you are taking. We changed that med and all is well and I am not taking another new med. Once you know if the med is doing what you want it to do and what the side effect might be, you can start something different if needed. Starting several new meds at a time should only be done if absolutely necessary, in time of medical crisis.

There is a long list of medications used for behavioral issues. I am not a fan of Xanax or Ativan for the elderly. It can even have the opposite effect causing more agitation. Trazodon is one that many use successfully. It does have a slightly sedative effect and many use it at night but can be used at other times. It's a long used medication (now generic) with less side effects. I know many that have had good results with it.

Also know what type of dementia your loved one has. Is it Alzheimer's, Vascular Dementia, Lewey Bodies, Frontal Temporal or one of the other causes of dementia. One of the reasons you need to know is that not all dementia causes are equal. If your loved one has Frontal Temporal they should not use benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and others. They also should not use typical anti psychotics. Antihistamines such as Benedryl should not be used by anybody with any type of dementia. They can caused increase cognitive decline. So please know the type of dementia your loved one has and check with the pharmacist relative to what medications work well with that particular type of dementia.

Always talk to your doctor.... and your pharmacist.... regarding any medication. Watch for side effects (any changes) and be sure to check those out with the pharmacist and the doctor. :)

Love, deb

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