Anyone use melatonin for Mom with Alzheimer's disease?

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I have been at my wit's end trying to help my 83 year old mother with Alzheimer's Disease sleep through the night. We have tried various different things, activities, restful music, soothing, etc., but she was continuing to get up in the middle of the night and shout down the hall "is it time to get up yet?" and then get agitated if I didn't respond quickly enough. She has been living with my wife and I for eight months in a bedroom down the hall from ours.

She normally goes to bed at 9, but even when I kept her up to 10 PM, we still get this. I am certain it is the dementia creating anxiety in her mind.

To reduce her daytime anxiety and improve cognitive function, our geriatric psychiatrist took her off Namenda, off of Trazodone at night, and we have really only been giving her Rameron at night, and an occasional Clonazepam during the day. The geriatric psychiatrist increased her Remeron from 15 mg to 22.5 mg (we cut another pill in half). Our day center help has asked us to get a second opinion on the medication she is recommending as she is still too agitated in the afternoon.

But the night time waking up and shouting has been exhausting us, as this has been going on for months.

So in desperation this week, I drove by the drug store and picked up Melatonin 5 mg to give her with her evening medicine. She seems to be sleeping now until 5:30 - 6 AM, which is a big improvement. The night before I started it, she got agitated in the middle of the night and started getting destructive, so I needed to do something. So I tried it for just two nights with her. I am going to stop now and see if there is a difference.

I think the Alzheimer's Disease makes certain drugs "work" for a while, and then as it progresses/changes the brain, the drugs effectiveness also wears off.

My wife thinks my mother is just sleeping better now because she finally got exhausted. Maybe. I am hopeful the Melatonin is providing some comfort for her to sleep. And yes, I have a call into my doctor on this.

What other experiences have caregivers had with Melatonin? Has anyone used Melatonin with Remeron?

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DevastatedSon, my parents are in their mid-80s, both have dementia, and they have both been taking 10MG of melatonin every night for more than three years. I take 20MG of melatonin every night and have done so for two years. (Yes, that was me above, too, saying that I couldn't take a whole 3MG of melatonin! That's no longer true, obviously.)

I take 20MG in the form of two 10MG time-release tablets and it really helps me sleep. The only side effect that I've ever heard of for melatonin is that there's suspicion it might decrease your body's natural melatonin level, but with your mother, I don't think that was a factor at all. (Low levels of natural melatonin are not dangerous.) Bless you for taking good care of your mother, and I hope that you will rest easy knowing that you didn't harm her by giving her melatonin.
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No, DevastatedSon, you did not cause your mother harm. The typical starting dose for melatonin is from less than 1 mg to 5 mg. And then some doctors increase it from there. 6 mg is definitely NOT a lethal dose. In fact, no seems sure that there is a lethal dose -- but there are known side-effects. It must have been very traumatic to experience your mother's death as you did. And to add to the trauma, now you are wondering if you contributed to her death.

No.

Your mother died when it was her time to die, and she died as a result of a serious disease she had. You were assisting her to the very last minute. Be proud of that. Be proud of the help you were able to give her this past year. I hope you can move forward with the grieving process without this unreasonable feeling of guilt.
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I am hoping that someone please clarify a worry that has been bothering me every day of my life. My mom was diagnosed with endocarditis in June of 2016 and was considered a non operative candidate for open heart surgery owing to her advanced age. She was 88 years old. So she was treated with 6 weeks of antibiotics. After her course of antibiotics was over, she began to hallucinate at night and sometimes would not sleep for 3 days in a row. So we started giving her very strong sedatives to sedate her. The physician also suggested melatonin. The recommended dose was 3 mg and to increase to 6 mg if no response. My mom would not respond to 3 mg so i would give her 6 mg. The night before she passed away, she was anxious so I gave her 6 mg of melatonin at 8:30 pm and died the next morning at 06:30 am while I was changing her. I always question myself if I caused my mom any harm by giving her the 6 mg of melatonin. I can’t live with myself over this. I’m agonizing over the fact that I might have caused my mom any harm. I’m hoping that someone please help me settle this uncertainty whether I’m culpable or not.
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I know this is an old post, but for people searching for some relief for an elderly parent I thought I would share. My mom, at the time was 88 and had dementia. She wasn't sleeping at night, was confused and would begin taking things out of drawers and moving them all over the house. I put her on melatonin and she began sleeping through the night. I noticed that her mood also improved during the day. She is now 90 and is living in a dementia care facility. They still give her melatonin every night before bed. They say that she still sleeps well during the night. When she moved to the facility they put her on medication to slow the dementia process, but I quickly had them take her off of it because she was becoming agitated and mean. She now only takes blood pressure medication and melatonin.
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I found Coconut Oil capsules in Walmart lately. Made with organic extra virgin oil...no added preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors...1,000 mg per softgel..two capsules twice a day...much easier to hanldle than scooping out of a can...about $10.00 a bottle....made by Spring Valley ..marymember
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Melatonin is the only supplement our doctor recommends for long term use. You can build up a tolerance to it, so be careful. Certainly, call the pharmacist who is familiar with your mom's meds and he/she should be able to tell you if the Melatonin is okay with the other meds she is on...good luck to you, I am sure you and your wife are really tired!
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Melatonin has been a life-saver for me. My husband had been sleeping through the night with no problems for the 3-1/2 years since his diagnosis of dementia; I've always slept well. Last fall, we went to visit my parents for a week. Total disruption of both our sleeping habits for a variety of reasons. When we got home, my husband did not sleep through the night, would wander outside, would refuse to go back to bed -- I was exhausted after just a week of this routine since I would have to get up and read while he dozed on the sofa. Of course, lots of medications were recommended by various friends. My husband takes no medication at all; I only give him 9 to 12 T. of coconut oil/MCT oil mixture each day. I didn't like what I read about side effects of medications. I had heard about melatonin but in my sleep-deprived state I didn't think of it. However, when I finally started to give it to him after several months of bad sleeping, he started sleeping all the way through the night from the second night. I now hear him go to the bathroom about two hours after he goes to sleep but he always returns to bed and goes back to sleep. He usually goes to sleep @8:30 - 9.00 p.m. and wakes @ 6 a.m. He likes the flavor of the liquid melatonin and looks forward to it. The routine helps, too; when I give him a bottle of Fuel for Thought and several droppers of melatonin, he knows it's bedtime. The doctor said that he himself takes melatonin. Sure beats the cocktail of drugs that seem to be the usual solution to this problem. Oh, he also gets cold more easily than he did before his diagnosis, so I put him to bed with a seed-filled (?) neck warmer that I heat up in the microwave, pile on the blankets, kiss him goodnight and turn out the light.
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If your mother likes tea try sleepytime decaf tea (with or without a spoon of honey). There are a couple flavors including lemon jasmine. That is in our cubbard now.
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Melatonin is very helpful for sleep, and if 5mg is letting her sleep at least 7-8 hours she is probably going to do pretty well with it. For me, 5mg is too much and I'll sleep late the following morning if I take that much -- I take 1/4 of a 3mg pill and that's enough to let me sleep through the night. But my dad regularly takes 5mg before he goes to sleep, and yet sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night with agitation and anxiety. So everyone is different. Wishing you and your family well -- it sounds like you've been going through a lot.
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You know, someone mentioned thyroid. One of my clients told me that she was diagnosed with dementia and it turned out to be thyroid. That should be checked thoroughly before anyone who is diagnosed with dementia accepts that verdict. Thyroid imbalances can cause all kinds of things - go on line and read up on it.
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