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My 86 year old husband has moderate dementia, which he does not recognize (as is common). He is no longer driving, but wants his license back. He won’t get it, but he focuses so much on what he’s lost. He’s anxious anyway, but it’s worse now. Are there medications that have helped your LOs?

All meds tried made my husband worse and more apt to fall. I give 5mg of melatonin around 7pm to relax him and one Tylenol pm at bedtime. So far the best for his sleep and anxiety.
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AjaRay: My sister in law was helped by Aricept.
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I would caution you when using medications such as Celexa, Lexapro, Ativan, or Xanax, that these are habit-forming drugs; that is, when taken regularly, daily, the user can become "hooked" on it, which itself can create even more anxiety.
After a while, the user builds up a tolerance, and need more of the drug for it to be effective. Just be careful of falling into that trap. Anti-anxiety meds are best used for occasional use, as needed. (or short-term, if you're looking at end-of-life)

Doctors tried so many different anti-anxiety meds for my husband, and then, tried different anti-psychotic medications. Those, too have unwanted side-effects! And none of them were effective!

Everybody responds differently to different medications.
I think you need to start with the doctor's recommendation, and maybe try a few different medications to see what your person responds best to.

When my husband was not responding well to any of the anxiety and psych medications, I managed to slowly wean him off all. I finally settled on a low-dose Depakote, and a low dose of Trazodone. Both non-addictive, and have very little chance of negative side effects.
I use daily at bedtime, which helps him fall asleep, and as needed when he is particularly anxious during the day.
Good luck. Work with his doctor to find the best medication for him.
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Geaton777 Jun 9, 2024
"...Lexapro belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of medications, which are generally considered non-addictive. However, it is possible for individuals to develop a dependence on Lexapro when it is misused or used for a prolonged period."

Source: https://www.thehopehouse.com/escitalopram-lexapro-addiction/#:~:text=It%20is%20important%20to%20understand,used%20for%20a%20prolonged%20period.

It is not a controlled substance but one should never stop taking without the guidance of their physician, as is true of most of the meds for depression, anxiety, mental illness, etc.
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Nearly overnight, Seroquel transformed my 92 yo mom from very high anxiety, with constant undiagnosable/untreatable pain, to a calm person, without pain. The dose was very low, given evenings to help her with sleep. It seemed miraculous to those of us who were watching her. That was 2 years ago and now she is well integrated & thriving in her ALF. But I only have one experience with this type of drug to share with you - that of my mom. If it had not worked so well, her primary doctor was already prepared to send my mother to a psychiatrist. I just add that because her doctor’s preparation for psychiatric intervention makes me aware that this drug may not work in every case.

edited to add:
Im seeing others saying there were eventually hallucinations? with Seroquel. I’m glad to know bc I’ll be watching mom for that. Mom had hallucinations when her anxiety was untreated. She has been taking Seroquel@ 12.5 mg. I wonder if others are taking the same dose or more than that?
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My mom was on 10 mg of Lexapro 1X per day. About a month ago, the dose was changed to 20mg 1X per day. It helped the constant crying and anxiety but the aggression still rears its head every few weeks. She was prescribed Seroquel and after taking one dose she became psychotic and violent. It does not work for everyone. That was the first and last time we gave it to her. During the day, we sporadically give her a 5mg THC gummy. (Legal in my state) Yes, her primary physician and neurologist know. The effects of that are that she’s giggly and happy. Her appetite improves and she sleeps well. She was diagnosed 8 years ago and is in moderate late stage.
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Lexapro, too. 10 mg split to 5 mg at am and pm dosing. Very helpful for mood leveling and calmness. DO be careful about doing a drug interaction report. This med (and many others) can lower heart rate. Can be bad in combo; also can exacerbate dementia incontinence.
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Erinmary Jun 9, 2024
Why would it exasperate dementia Incontinence? My sister is having trouble with her husband because of that. Just wondering.
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Lexapro helped my mom also. Been on it for 2 years now. Works well for her.
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Seraquel helped my 88 yo mother with vascular dementia with anxiety, depression and difficulty sleeping. She did have auditory hallucinations when beginning the drug but overtime that subsided. There are several drugs she had gone through, but Seraquel seems to work the best for her. Everyone is different.
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terisly Jun 9, 2024
Same here, my mom had hallucinations, paranoia, etc., and this medication seem to help her tremendously. Of course they’re still gonna have some episodes but overall this was the best one that we had tried.
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For my mother, we started with Zoloft. As her dementia progressed we changed to Seroquel which helped until she began having hallucinations. We then changed to a very low dose of Haloperidol and that helped tremendously. There are many medications to help. You need to speak with his doctor.
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Lexapro for my mother's anxiety, mild depression, and poor appetite.
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ElizabethAR37 Jun 2, 2024
That helped my husband, too. He has not been diagnosed with dementia but has some short-term memory and executive function issues. He had a serious depressive episode in 2022. He was prescribed Lexapro which has worked well so far.
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Ativan for anxiety and Wellbutrin for depression helped my mother quite a bit, and she suffered with dementia as well.

Best of luck to you.
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