Are there better medications for Alzheimer's patients?

7 answers | Last updated: Nov 03, 2016
Horses asked...

Are there any anti-anxiety medications for Alzheimer's patients with Lewy body dementia that are in the moderate stage and having hallucinations, paranoia and agitation issues that do not leave the patients just wiped out?


Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

Anti-anxiety medications would probably not help somebody who has paranoia and hallucinations. Treatment of these conditions requires use of antipsychotics to which individuals with Lewy bodies dementia are very sensitive. Therefore, it is important to use very low doses and medications with fewer side-effects, such as quetiapine (Seroquel).


Community Answers

Harasko50 answered...

Seroquel HAS helped my Father. Without it I do not think he could remain at home.


John h answered...

Respidone .50millgrams every 6 to 8 hours has helped my wife who is 57 years old limit bouts of aggitation


John h answered...

Also time released Ambien CR has been working for sleeping But can't give to early as it only works for 5 to 6 hours - 9pm and she is up at 3am - so I wait until 11:00 or midnight to give it to her. It really helps me get much needed rest


A fellow caregiver answered...

Adding 3 mg of Melatonin with the Ambien sr may help. It's OTC readily availably


Gcs answered...

Just a small point about an earlier answer that mentions "Respidone .50millgrams". That's just half a milligram, and is more safely written 0.5mg to clearly distinguish it from 5 mg. And its Respiridone.


Martydotcom answered...

I believe a trial course of Ativan or similar benzodiazepine may very well be worth a trial, if your trying to avoid over sedation. My wife same dx and staging a year ago was experiencing all the same sequelea. Seroquel, even minimum dosing plus trying to titrate it with dosing @ 18 hrs, then trying alternate day dosing left her totally sedated. A switch to Ativan, 1mg with 3mg of Melatonin when Sun-downing, ranting, pacing and non stop rummaging, etc became an issue has made the situation totally manageable. Over these past years of care giving, first for my mother in law with AD, and now with my wife. I've learned that there are no hard and fast rules as to what medications will work. The disease is not really diagnosed 100% surety until autopsy. I think the most we can hope for is that our Neuro's or PCP's are willing to experiment to find the best pharmaceutical available, one that will minimize our LO's symptoms without overpowering unwanted side effects Staging and classifications of types of Dementia are vague and imprecise at best, can only determined by the skill of interpreter of he scans and other test and what the MD sees that particular point in time while test the patient. My wife on two different days 24 hrs apart, same site, same person admin. the test had MME scores of 15 and 27. That was the end of testing for us. Our MD's now only worry about treating her symptoms her staging is meaningless just deal with the symptoms is our approach I possess a Pharm D.