Diazepam - anyone have any experience?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tess, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Tess

    Tess Registered User

    Nov 29, 2005
    22
    I live in west wales
    Hi
    My Mum (aged 80) was diagnosed with AD about 6 years ago and has been prescribed a number of different medications: Aricept, Reminyl and currently taking Ebixa. She is cared for by my 82 year old Dad. We are lucky that we have a wonderful care network in our area and Mum is regularly visited by a CPN. The last time the CPN visited, Dad told her that Mum tends to get very anxious at times, particularly in the mornings. The CPN relayed this information to Mum's psychiatrist who has now arranged for Mum to be prescribed Diazepam for the anxiety. Mum's GP (who has been asked to issue the prescription)is keen that Mum is not kept on the Diazepam for any lengthy period. Mum regularly 'nods off' quite a bit through the day and has no problem sleeping at night. She has arthritis and walks with difficulty - she is certainly not very steady. As some of the effects of taking Diazepam include drowsiness and unsteadiness, I really do wonder whether it will be a good move for Mum to start taking them.

    Does anyone have any experience of someone with AD taking Diazepam?

    Sorry to ramble on.

    Thanks

    Tess
     
  2. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Hi Tess. My mum was prescribed Diazepam pre-diagnosis (2/3 years ago). What her GP saw as purely anxiety symptoms were perhaps not ...? (at the time he wasn't fully informed of observations at home which led to psycho-geriatrician being called in and the subsequent diagnosis, although my mother has a history of 'anxiety').

    Mum slept most of the time ... was very disorientated when she was awake ..... and I recall was also a time she was having some hallucinations - whether this had anything to do with the Diazepam or was just the 'stage' she was at, or has been alleviated since taking Aricept ..........???

    I do recall Psych-Ger's first visit when she went thru' mum's meds and saw the Diazepam and told me quite sharply to 'throw them away!!!' Mum was also at that time on strong painkillers for her osteo-arthritis .... consultant said that 'cocktail' alone was likely to 'zonk' anyone out .....

    Interestingly, my dad was prescibed Diazepam some 15 years or more back .... no dementia issues - just anxiety and sleeplessness .... and it helped him gain some rest for a few hours each night ..... but if your mum is already so tired, and sleeping well at nights, I agree, I would be very concerned about the impact .......

    Sounds like you have a wise GP!

    Love, Karen, x (and you thought you could ramble?! :eek::))
     
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Tess

    You're lucky to have such a good support network, lots of us will be jealous!:)

    The problem with Diazepam, apart from the sleepiness and loss of balance, is that it's quite addictive, so the dose has to be regularly increased if somone is on it for a long time.

    My husband John was prescribed one tablet at night to calm his bladder. He had no trouble sleeping, but his bladder didn't shut down at night. It didn't have any adverse effect on him at all, no doubt he had slept off the effects.

    He was taken off it when he went into the NH, because they don't believe in tranquillising patients -- they do have problems with his bladder at night, though!:eek:

    It doesn't sound as if your mum needs tranquillising either, if she is sleeping well. And if she is unsteady, that could be another problem, the last thing you want is a fall.

    Perhaps one at night would do the trick? You could ask the GP.
     
  4. Tess

    Tess Registered User

    Nov 29, 2005
    22
    I live in west wales
    Hi Karen & Hazel
    Thank you so much for your replies - they are really helpful. I've just come back from collecting the prescription from the surgery and was pleased that the dosage is the lowest - 2mg - and Mum's GP has prescribed 'To be taken when required and not more than 3 per day'. I'm going to try to persuade Dad to only give Mum one tablet when absolutely necessary and not as a matter of course.
    Thank you both again - I don't post often but it's so good to know you can come to TP for advice and feel part of a community that knows what you're going through.

    Love & hugs

    Tess
     
  5. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Tess
    I have just caught up with your thread and I would like to add that my dad has been prescribed Diazepam to be taken when required. He hasn't needed it recently though. His problem was to help alleviate anxiety and difficult behaviour that can no longer be controlled with anti-psychotic medication (which are contra-indicated for dementia sufferers). I think this is a safer option than anti -psyhotics. It is a tranquiliser and is sometimes used to give patients a pre-med before operations etc. If you 're not sure about any drugs yur mum is given always check with her doctor. My dad is given it under medical supervision as he is in hospital, he doesnt use it regularly and I would be unhappy if he were taken it through the day as a long term option. It would also make him even less steady on his feet which would also be an issue. Its just there to provide back up.
    take care
    hendy
     
  6. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello Tess,

    My husband has been on Diazepam for years..after his diagnosis of Alzheimers/Vascular Dementia I've managed to decrease his dose..he now has 3 x 2mg tablets daily...and because he's been on it for so long I don't think it makes any difference to him now.

    In your mum's case it's probably handy to have around for extreme agitation..2mg is a tiny dose and as long as it's not taken regularly wouldn't create dependency.

    It's a useful back up to have..My husband also takes Reminyl and Dothiepin..(now called Dosulepin)

    Love gigi xx
     
  7. Tess

    Tess Registered User

    Nov 29, 2005
    22
    I live in west wales
    Hi Hendy & Gigi

    Thank you for your replies - sorry it's taken so long to respond. Mum has been taking her Diazepam since last Thursday and, thankfully, Dad has taken my advice about not giving the tablets to her too frequently. He's giving her one each morning which seems to settle her - she's always at her worst first thing. She is sleeping a little more than usual during the day but it doesn't seem to be affecting her steadiness on her feet (thank goodness).

    We'll wait and see what happens.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply.

    Love

    Tess
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #8 Margarita, Apr 29, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
    I was given Diazepam when I had really bad pain with my sciatica 5 Mg , I never new what Diazepam was back then I thought it was a pain killer so was taking it every 4 hours with other pain killer
    as I was doctor out of hours & I wanted pain killer there then .

    . Must say that i felt a feeling of uphoria it was amazing , all my worries where gone , that I did not feel I had any pain in my back so I got up from bed & fell down , could not get my self up as my back was killing me could not find the balance to get up . so my daughter phone the ambulance . when they arrived they wanted to know the medication I was taking They told me that Diazepam is Valium, So OK what is Valium :confused: ( but did not ask them that ) it relaxes your muscles , they said only take it if I really need it So then look it up what Valium was. it can became addictive because it give you a feel good feeling

    Yes I would also agree with that as its only 2mg.
     
  9. citybythesea

    citybythesea Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    632
    coast of texas
    Lordy, I did not realize they prescibed it to AD patients since they do not like to sedate AD patients.

    I can remember being given 20 pills that I was told sto make last. Forget about driving....I could barely stand with 1...but come to think of it I think that may have been the last time I had a good sleep. It's been a good 15 years.

    I can say that is 1 pill that would have scared me had they have put mom on it.
     

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