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Do most Alzheimers sufferers take anti depressants?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by GrannyS, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. GrannyS

    GrannyS Registered User

    Jan 10, 2014
    I've been told by several experienced persons that most Alzheimers sufferers are on antidepressants. Is this true? Our Mum is really low these last three months, sad, quiet and weeping, but the doctor is reluctant to prescribe them. She is on the lowest dose of galantamine now and I suspect this will be discontinued soon as her cognitive abilities have deteriorated. I think the depression is because, despite her deterioration, she still has sufficient awareness to know she is losing her memory and she is frightened despite everything we do to reassure her.
  2. Trisha4

    Trisha4 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    My husband has Alzheimer's and does not take anti depressants. Sorry that's all I can offer.

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  3. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    #3 LynneMcV, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    I can only speak in as far as my husband goes and no, so far he has not needed anti-depressants. He is 61 now (diagnosed at 58) and very aware of what the disease is doing to him. Nothing has amazed me more than his gentle acceptance of the situation.
    I don't know about the general comment that "most Alzheimer's sufferers are on anti-depressants" but I have no doubt whatsoever that some are and benefit greatly from them.
    I've heard it said that constant crying is typical in some, while fits of giggling are common in others. In the last week my husband has certainly been consumed by a lot of laughing over things that aren't especially funny. As a carer and his wife I certainly find it easier to cope with the excessive laughter than I would the constant crying. I have also heard that this stage, whether laughing or crying, does pass eventually.
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Mine is a happy soul. He isn't "suffering" either.
  5. missmarple

    missmarple Registered User

    Jan 14, 2013
    My Dad's on antidepressants even though he wasn t obviously depressed, but had/ still has challenging behaviour and the GP thought it would help.
    I told a doctor at the hospital where I work and he also made the point that most people with dementia are on anti depressants. I suspect though it's not always primarily for depression, but maybe also for behaviour.
  6. theunknown

    theunknown Registered User

    Apr 17, 2015
    I don't know about this. What I do know is that I wouldn't be able to survive without anti-depressents. I do think, with the generation above mine (I'm 55,) that it can be difficult to accept that medication can help with mental health problems. It's still embarrassing to own up to problems with mental health.
  7. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    My husband was prescribed anti depressants when he was diagnosed 14 years ago. He's still on them. At one point they started to reduce them with a view to taking him off them. He became really weepy to the point he went back on them.

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  8. Summerheather

    Summerheather Registered User

    Feb 22, 2015
    My Mum is on 20 ml of Citalopram and Pregabalin
  9. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North

    Certainly as far as Alzheimers is concerned, he is a good example of the benefits of antidepressants, and no mistake.
  10. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    I have dementia for sixteen years and loads of problems but never been on anti depressants so it doesn't in all cases
  11. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    My mum started taking anti depressants 2 years ago, initially because we think she was depressed, brought on by the death of her husband 6 years ago. changed early this year because she was suddenly crying a lot and seemed just so down, new ones were prescribed because gp thought they would deal with her anxiety and obsessions too. My mum has Vascular Dementia.
  12. velocity

    velocity Registered User

    Feb 18, 2013
    North Notts
    My Mum is on Anti depressants. They seem to help her well being :) xx
  13. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    my late Mum...2 plus years on Citolopram....no bad side effects
  14. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    I believe quite a few people are prescribed Citlopram which is classed as an anti depressant, however, it's in the case of Citlopram it's an SSRI drug and there is significant evidence that it slows down the build up of neuronal protein amyloid beta.
    If you google for "Alzheimer's and SSRI" you'll find all kinds of links to the research.
    If my wife wasn't already on it I'd be asking for her to be put on it. In principle I'm against the use of anti depressants but in this case I'd make an exception.
  15. Louby65

    Louby65 Registered User

    Mar 26, 2014
    Hello GrannyS. My mum's behaviour was quite challenging at times about 6 months ago . She was referred to a psychiatrist specialising in dementia . He visited us in our home and did state that people suffering from dementia have benefited from being prescribed anti depressants . He also stated that some can have a side effect of sleepiness , which was a bonus as my mum had been restless overnight . He prescribed trazadone and her behaviour and sleep pattern has improved . It may not be for everyone but it has helped in this instance . Hope that helps . Best wishes . Lou
  16. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    depression another nail for !! Travel Insurance
    If I Had depression do I need to declare it?

    Yes, you need to declare anything relating to any diagnosed psychological or psychiatric disorder, anxiety or depression that you or any person whose condition may give rise to a claim, have suffered from or required medication or treatment for in the two years before you bought this insurance. You can make a declaration online by going through the medical screening questions during your booking
  17. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    My OH s on antidepressants and is much more settled with them.
  18. GrannyS

    GrannyS Registered User

    Jan 10, 2014
    It’s interesting hearing all your different experiences. I wonder what evidence there is for the sweeping statement about most Alzheimers sufferers taking antidepressants, I haven’t found anything to support it by googling though I did come across research evidence about SSIs class of antidepressants, which includes sertraline and citalopram sometimes being beneficial by reducing deterioration for some Alzheimers patients. I hadn’t realized before reading the replies that being weepy for a period of time can be a phase, as aggression can be. The doctor is seeing her today for the third time to 'review her case' so we’ll see.
  19. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    near Folkestone
    My husband got mixed Az and vascular but is not on antidepressants . He is aware of his illness and calmly accepts his dementia but is always positive in his outlook .

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  20. GrannyS

    GrannyS Registered User

    Jan 10, 2014
    We are trying to help Mum accept her dementia and not worry. She has been in a care home these last two months but we visit or take her out every day and she has her phone with direct contact buttons. The trouble is not everything goes smoothly at the care home sometimes and we can't always know what has upset her and she doesn't remember - only the feeling. Impossible to sort out how much are her fears and depression and what are things we can sort out or improve upon.

    The doctor has visited but is still reluctant to prescribe antidepressant and it turns out it is because she had an attack of status epilepticus that she was lucky to survive 18 months ago and he thinks there is a possible link between sertraline and status epilepticus. . She is to be reviewed again in a couple of weeks time.

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