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My mom is 81 and has had dementia for 4-5 years. She lives with me and began having hallucinations really bad to the point it would keep her up all night. We got her on Seroquel and this did take away the hallucinations and she was sleeping through the night. There was a mix up with her prescription and she was off the Seroquel for about 2 weeks. When I finally received it, I started her back on it. When she was off of it she was brighter, happier and for the first week and a half she was still sleeping through the night. The first night I put her back on it she was dead to the world when sleeping. it made a big difference in her. So I haven't given her anymore as of now. Does anyone have experience with giving Benadryl at night instead and would this help her to sleep thus keeping the hallucinations away? I just don't want her to be on any more medicine than she has to.

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As her doctor if she can get off of cholesterol meds. Many doctors don't realize that memory issues are a common side effect, and test show they don't help older women.
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Sounds like Sundowners. My mom had horrible problems with it. She would get up in the middle of the night and turn on every light even when I was sleeping in my bedroom then stand over me. It would scare me to death! Wasn't funny at the time but now that she is in a facility and a couple of years from it I can kind of sort of laugh. I definitely would not give her any OTC meds. Like suggested I would check the dosage on her meds. All of them. Something could be interfering with the Seroquel. Good LUck and God Bless
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My moms doctor gave her a prescription for .5 mg of xanax. If found it was much kinder to give her something to make her fall asleep than to have her in terror all night. I used to give it to her every other night. Now that my mom is in a nh surrounded by people she is much happier, more peaceful, less afraid, and sleeps through the night. Go figure.
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Trouble sleeping? Try a tablespoon of honey and apple cider vinegar. Works every time, at least in humans.
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Seroquel turned my husband into a drunken zombie who fell asleep within 20 minutes of taking it! Wonderful! I learned to give it to him after he was ready for bed and in his bedroom. Many people can take it during the day -- not my husband! But it served our purpose beautifully. Without it we were both miserable half-awake zombies all day. The "drunk" effect wore off in a few hours but by then he was sound asleep. This was our "miracle" pill that allowed me to keep him at home.

BUT it is not a miracle for everyone. Let your own experience guide you. Discuss Mom's reaction with her doctor. Maybe the dosage could be adjusted.

Almost all medications being used for dementia patients are trade-offs. It makes him less alert but it calms his anger. She is more apt to fall but she is more "with it." It is almost always a matter of balancing the benefits and the drawbacks.
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Give her Melatonin 10 mg's, Extra Strength, over the counter. She'll sleep like a baby, no hallucinations. Forget the medication! Bleh!
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Just a thought that randomly occurred to me as I was reading this post. I've had unsettling nightmares just from taking an 81 mg of aspirin, of a specific brand. Was I hallucinating or having a bad dream? I don't know, but the nightmares were very vivid....and just from a simple aspirin.

Perhaps it's time to research all the meds your mother takes, and check for interactions.

Benadryl gave me double vision.
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More on the UTI, have her checked for that first then for sure don't give her the herb Valerian which helps sleep because it caused hallucinations so you're adding to the problem. I gave my mother melatonin. Although she was wiped out until lunch the next day, it would always help her sleep.
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I think you have to be the one advocating for your loved ones as far as medication goes. You are the one who is with them the most and see what exactly the meds are doing. I never thought of using nor asking for Xanax while my mom as alive but I would definitely ask about it now. I know if mom was having a really bad night I had to give a half of seroquel in the middle of the night , like around 3am because she never slept that night, she would've totally out of it the next day. So I can see why pattiflo is questioning the use of seroquel. With all that I know now (too late for my mom). I would try the natural remedies or something besides seroquel . But remember, if mom was off drug for 2 weeks, you need to give her body time to adjust which I think is about 30 days. I know you want to see the mom you remember as often as possible and sometimes I felt the drugs were more fir me then mom. All I know is you should spend as much time with your mom as you can. Off to put new flowers on my wonderful/beautiful/living moms grave. Happy fathers day to all 😍
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You shouldn't be the one medicating your mom. That's the doctor's job.
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The geritrician and neurologist both said to NOT GIVE Benadryl to my mom. i was the one who initially suggested Benadryl because I needed sleep and was exhausted. Lowering the seroquel dose or giving it earlier may be some options. Good luck
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You might ask her doctor about alprazolam (Xanax). I give my husband just a chip of the low dose tablet and it calms him down. He became more agitated with Seroquel and the rest of the typically prescribed drugs.
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Have her checked for a UTI. That puts my mother into the demented category, otherwise, her neurologist says she doesn't have dementia.
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NO, DO NOT GIVE Benadryl or any other antihistamine to a person with dementia. It blocks acetylcholine which is necessary for neurotransmitters to connect information in the brain. Try melatonin instead which is harmless at about 1.5 mg to 3 mg. over-the-counter. Benadryl is mentioned in Dr. Oz's book as causing dementia-like symptoms, and unless one is having an allergic reaction and need something fast to stop hives and itching, stay away from this drug. Anything with diphenhydramine (the key ingredient in Benadryl) is going to cause you to be forgetful. So many people are taking this drug for allergies, and so many people are showing ill effects. I stopped taking it a long time ago.
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I have heard that Benedryl can make hallucinations worse so I would avoid that. I guess I would find out from the doctor if the current dose of Seroquel could be lowered ...that is all that it may take to balance things out.
I like the idea of soft music and found that gardening magazines and all the lovely pictures relax my Mom too.
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GardenArtist those are really good suggestions too! Thanks so much. Gives me a lot to think about.
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Yes, those moments are priceless. That's part of the reason I feel so bad giving her so much medicine, although most of it is blood pressure med, heart med (minor heart problem), cholesterol and then the Aricept and Namenda. She was off the Seroquel for about 1-1/2 weeks, she had started smiling, laughing at things on TV, it was so good to see her like this. Even though things are going on in her mind, I just want her to be happy.
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Sorry - the post jumped away and posted before I was finished.

Can you also engage her in relaxing activities before bedtime, accompanied by soft music that she enjoys?

Even if she has dementia, perhaps you can just fold clothes, look at photos of gardens, babies, animals, etc. Perhaps you can find something that calms and relaxes her just before bedtime.
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Why not try something natural? Ask your mother's doctor about Melatonin and herbal teas, and whether or not they're contraindicated with anything else she takes.
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They took Mom off Aricept and Namenda. Namenda is very expensive. These drugs only slow down the process, from what I was told. They cannot heal. The cycle of life happens. You get older and something is going to give. Unfortunately, it's Mom's brain...People age differently. My family history is they die; cancer, brain disorder,stroke, hear attacks. You name it, someone in my family died somehow. As Ronald Regan's family said, ALZ is the slow goodbye. Now, I feel there is a reason Mom has it. I don't know if I could have let her go any sooner without a total breakdown. I don't know if I can let her go now without a total breakdown. She is not the same person, but gosh, when she does recognize me, I feel like her little princess again. At my age that's wonderful..She is a wonderful kind person.
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Your thoughts have been very helpful. Every time I have to give mama her pills I feel bad for every one she has to take. I even questioned if she could come off the Namenda and Aricept and I was told that if we did this we might never get her back to the level she is now. It's definitely challenging, and I feel so bad when she doesn't sleep at night. Just trying to find the best scenario for her and be assured, all of this is always run by her doctor. I'm from a small town and am able to get in touch with her doctor fairly easily. Again, thanks for your words of wisdom.
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I should clarify that a lot of people come here who have monkeyed around with their loved one's meds without the doctor, and it can be super dangerous to the patient. It is appalling to me how many people will play doctor without really understanding.

There are a lot of other sleep related posts here, but the standard guidance seems to be to have a regular routine and sequence of events up to bedtime, and to expect that just when you get it figured out, something will change and you'll have to troubleshoot all over again.
Insomnia is a hallmark behavior for dementia.

Don't be afraid to get help in at night so YOU can rest. You will decline faster than mom if you are not getting real rest. Nobody can do 24/7 shifts.
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The Seroquel was my idea in the first place after talking with several nurses and doctors as I work at a hospital. While she was on the Seroquel the first time she was sleeping through the night and most of the day too. Once we ran out of the prescription and had the problem, she was brighter and more aware. That's why I'm having second thoughts about the Seroquel. In talking to some of the same nurses, they have raised the question of whether Benadryl might be better as Seroquel is a strong med. One even has experience in her own mother-in-law with Benadryl helping her in a similar situation. I don't make any decisions regarding medications on my own, but for the most part, suggestions have to be made by the family members to help their loved ones. Her doctor has said we could try Benadryl even before we started the Seroquel. I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with using Benadryl with the problem of hallucinations. Thanks for all the responses.
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NO BENADRYL! No unisom, no nothing until you speak to the doctor.
You should not be making medication decisions. The dementia doctor is the ONLY person qualified to do that.

Elderly people have a completely different physiology than younger people do. That's why geriatrics is a specialty. They metabolize very differently and their bodies process and use the medication *very very very* differently than younger people, and dementia only complicates this as the brain degrades.

Benadryl will make some people sleepy but others wired like they're on cocaine.
You won't know until it's too late.
She could have taken Benadryl to sleep years ago, and have it make her wild now.

There are other meds the doctor can try for your mom. Seroquel is the normal starting point. It may be that her dosage needs adjusting. A geriatric psychiatrist can also help her with the sleeping problem.
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Pattiflo, the problem may be the dosage of Seroquel your mother is taking. My mom has been on it, at various dosage levels for two years, and she does well, relatively speaking. I would consult with her doctor before administering any OTC medications.
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