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Can people with Dementia become addicted to a medication ?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Tiller Girl, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    89
    My husband has had mixed dementia for the past 8years although only diagnosed for 6yrs. Usually he’s quite easy to look after but the night times have become more difficult especially bedtime. Before he goes to bed he insists on going to the bathroom many times...the record so far is 12 times over a period of 90mins.

    The doctor gave him zopiclone ...this is a sleeping tablet which hubby has taken every night as instructed. However now the drs are reluctant to give him a repeat prescription , although after a week of trying, I did manage to get one. Now though I can only give it him ‘as and when’ required 3 to 4 times a week and he’s got to go back for a medication review before they’ll give him anymore.

    The drs are concerned that he will become dependent on them. Is this actually possible for someone with dementia? My husband’s heart consultant gave him a life expectancy of 2 to 3 years last year or sudden death. So does it really matter if he does become dependent on these drugs ?

    Is anyone using zopiclone on a longer basis.
     
  2. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Anyone can become addicted including a person with dementia.

    You don't say how old your husband is but I am wondering if the doctors are concerned that he might have an increased risk of having falls while on a sleeping medication. The meds can add to a person's confusion as well. As your husband has a heart condition, my guess is that he is probably taking a few other medications to help.

    I personally have been taking a sleeping pill every night for decades. My GP acknowledges that I am no doubt addicted but I am careful not to take more than the prescribed dose so now that I am at the age 75, he will prescribe the medication for me provided that he sees me at the time.
     
  3. PalSal

    PalSal Registered User

    Addiction is about the medication being of an addictive compound. Of course, a person with dementia can become physically addicted to an addictive substance....it is not about them it is the substance.
    I am sure the increased risk of falls is a great portion of the doctors concern. But as Lawson58 says, if taken according to the prescribed dosage gives much needed sleep, sounds like a good idea. Tiller Girl, I would think his sleep is vital to your well being.
    I personally lived with periodic insomnia for many many years now. I catch a nap in the daytime whenever I can..
     

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