Follow
Share

My 88yo mother recently became depressed, unwilling to bathe or change her clothes for the past few weeks. No interest in reading or watching TV. She has memory issues which became more substantial after a fall and brain bleed 5 years ago. I asked her MD if we could try an antidepressant and he has prescribed Lexapro. I know it’s impossible to predict how any med will react with any individual. But does anyone have any experience with this drug? I take SSRIs myself but I know they can have different effects in children and the elderly. This has been such a stressful change in behavior. At least she still takes pleasure in interacting with our dog!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Midkid, thanks, I tend to agree with you. I take Zoloft and have felt the effect of a dose change in under a week. I think when I started taking it I felt a difference in about 10 days. I was also taking a tricyclic at the time so the dynamics would be different.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

No, 5 days is not too soon to feel a difference. Everyone is different, and most drs will day 6 weeks before you see a difference, but in my experience, it happened much sooner. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Oh, good, good, good! Keep us updated.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

That is AWESOME news, Day! Hope that this trend continues.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Just thought I’d report back that after 5 days on the antidepressant my mom spontaneously said today that she felt better than she’s felt in a long time. Said she felt that way when she woke up. I am cautiously optimistic about this. It’s a bit early to see an effect but I don’t think it’s placebo effect because she doesn’t really know what she’s taking and doesn’t remember what she takes anyway. She was up and dressed all day for the last couple of days. She got dressed enough to go to the grocery store with me today (though I somehow didn’t notice that she put her jeans on over her pj bottoms!). Even my doom and gloom dad noticed a difference. So fingers crossed that this has helped.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Thanks everyone, I’ve done my homework, just wanted to get some real life input. I’ll start my mom on the med tomorrow and watch her carefully. I know the dose may have to be titrated for her. 10mg may be too much to start, but we’ll see.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My psychiatrist said it didn't matter when I took it, as long as it was consistent, but my sleep doctor said to take it in the morning. Take your pick.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If the Lexapro is "stimulating" have her take it in the am. If it's not, then it doesn't really matter.

Tricyclics are taken at night, as you note, they ARE for sleep.

Read up on this, or better yet, talk to your pharmacist. I have found them to be MUCH more able to tell you about drugs than our overworked PCPs!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

That’s a great idea Jeanne Gibbs, I hadn’t thought about that at all.
Any thoughts from anyone on whether it’s best to take the Lexapro in the morning or evening? Mom sleeps OK (other than sleeping too much sometimes). Because she gets disoriented sometimes when she wakes up at night or after a nap, I thought I might start out giving it to her in the morning so that I would be better able to see adverse effects. I’d hate for her to wake up during the night and hallucinate or something like that. In my own experience, I take a trycyclic at night (because I sleep better with it) and my SSRI in the morning because it doesn’t seem to make me drowsy, seems to make me sharper, actually. But I’m 55 and that’s a world away from 88 with cognitive decline. Though some days I sure feel like my mind is running away from me! ;)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

daybyday27, have you considered a blue light? (Sometimes called a happy light.) If it is hard to get outside, it can be a good supplement.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks, I’m not concerned about weight gain. My mom is quite trim, and we have a good handle on her diet. She’s diabetic but we have good control. I’m hoping she won’t have adverse effects, but I’m here to watch out for those. Right now the only time I can get her outside is with our dog but that’s not enough time to make a difference. Better than nothing, I suppose. It’s hard in the winter months. It’s so hard to see her like this. Breaks my heart. And my dad doesn’t understand at all, thinks she just needs to try harder. I have persistent depressive disorder myself (successfully treated) so I know how terribly untrue that is.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Most SSRI's work the same, but different brains take medications differently. I hallucinated on Lexapro and Prozac, on Zoloft I am fine. Fine meaning I'm not horrifically depressed. It still takes work to keep balanced. All the meds do is keep your brains chemicals in check.

Just keep an eye in her for the first few weeks as you taper up to a therapeutic dosage. Don't expect a miraculous overnight cure, it's a slow process.

Also--get mom out into the sunshine everyday if possible. I must be solar powered--a 2 mile walk in the cold Utah sunshine has lifted my moods today more than anything!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My Mom is 84 and in mid stage dementia. She has taken Lexapro for 10 months. She has gained 4 pounds. The first 2 weeks she was groggy and sleepy. For her it is wonderful. She is as happy as a tick on a hound! It was prescribed by the geriatric psychologist doctor.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Guaranteed weight gain. Considering your mother’s age, that’s probably the least of anyone’s worries.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I've been taking Lexapro for more than 5 years, I think. I am 72. It works well for me. I do not have cognitive impairment (that I'll admit to). You are right, reaction is very individual.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.