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Lorazapam and Citalopram: Does anyone know whether these drugs are effective?

Martin099

Registered User
Nov 13, 2012
53
Dorset
Hi Everyone

My mother's dementia has taken a turn for the worse in the last 10 days. Mum is 70 and was diagnosed a year ago with vascular dementia & signs of alzheimers. She still lives in her own home with two care visits a day, usually for about 2 or 3 hours in duration.

10 days ago we noticed an increase in anxiety, mixed with a noticeable depression. There are a few know reasons - fear of television, mirrors and window reflections has come and gone for two years now, but appears to have worsened over the past few weeks. Also mum is struggling with pain from her knee and we have started to see specialists with a view to a knee-replacement. This is such a shame because mum still loves her garden but finds it difficult to do much due to her knee.

I have been getting regular phone calls during the night and need to go over to mums to comfort her when she's upset. This can't continue though because we have an 18 month old daughter and my wife is due to give birth to our second child in 3 weeks time. We have seen the GP and local dementia / mental health team this week - mum was initially prescribed Citalopram (an anti-depressant), however this was changed to Lorazepam following a second consultation two days later.

I would really appreciate any shared experiences of these drugs, positive or negative. Can they be taken together or will this cause more damage than good? It just seems to me that the specialists didn't really know what to try themselves and its a case of trial and error!

Thanks for reading, all responses will be gratefully received :)

Martin
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
my mum has just gone onto Lorazapam and it seems to have done a great job at calming her down, she had very bad sundowning/nightime anxiety, it is very hard to deal with, isn't it? I know there can be long term probs but as my mum is 96 I am hoping she won't get there.

Citalopram, is a prozac type anti depressant drug used for all sorts of things, it is brilliant in that it should stop the sort of over emotional crying and anxiety but i think it takes a few weeks to kick in, probably a month at least. And of course all drugs can not work properly with dementia problems. No idea if they can work together.
 
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Martin099

Registered User
Nov 13, 2012
53
Dorset
my mum has just gone onto Lorazapam and it seems to have done a great job at calming her down, she had very bad sundowning anxiety. I know there can be long term probs but as my mum is 96 I am hoping she won't get there.

Citalopram, is a prozac type anti depressant drug used for all sorts of things, it is brilliant in that it stops you being too over emotionaL. It doesn't affect your personality, but stops the sort of over emotional crying and anxiety.

has it been suggested your mum takes both? i am wondering if they are good together, as my mum is still pretty weepy.
Yes, the consultant was literally debating it on mum's doorstep! It was clear that he had no problem with mum taking both tablets. The reason we all agreed to go with the Lorazapam only was because we could see whether it was working or not...if we tried two together we wouldn't know what was effective. However the dosage is only 0.5mg per day which seems small.
 

yoyo

Registered User
Sep 22, 2012
80
hi there, my mum has been on Citalopram for 4 years and it made her so happy after a while we increased it because we felt her mood was slipping back. Mum has been really ill for the last 6 months and anxiety had already started before this and we have tried a few drugs but recently 3/4 weeks ago she started on trazodone for anxiety and Zoploclone which is a sleeping tablet. for the first 3 weeks of these drugs mum was really ill with other problems but anxiety was present and while the trazodone did some reduction of anxiety it just didn;t seem to be enough to relax her so when we gave her the zoploclone for sleeping she would be asleep but eyes open and awake all night having a ball with imaginary people in the room. we were totally exhausted and where waiting for a place at the home we had chosen. 2 nights before we moved her she slept and was relaxed and the move to the home has been awful for us all but the tablets seem to be relaxing her during the evening and the zoploclone is helping her sleep, the nurses said that the drugs take about 3/4 weeks to kick in. On top of this because mum was so ill they stopped all her meds including the Citalopram. mums getting very upset and crying a lot so we are going to ask the doctor to start it again to improve her mood. ---------- I really hope this makes sense - its been really difficult to try to explain, mum was so ill 3 weeks ago they prescribed end of life drugs and thats why all the meds were stopped, but she's pulled through and we are working with the home to settle her - really hard though. I am sure that while all the docs care and want to help, no one seems to know what will work for each person, it must be trial and error!! sorry that sounds awful...... I am sending you my heart felt hugs because I know how you must be feeling - love and hugs xx
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,524
North East England
Hi - i take citalopram myself for depression and it has helped enormously. It only took a few days to have an effect. I don't have dementia, though, and don't take any other drugs regularly, but this is my experience. I was about to go under and these pills saved me.

Good luck, I hope things work out for you all x
 

yoyo

Registered User
Sep 22, 2012
80
Hi - i take citalopram myself for depression and it has helped enormously. It only took a few days to have an effect. I don't have dementia, though, and don't take any other drugs regularly, but this is my experience. I was about to go under and these pills saved me.

Good luck, I hope things work out for you all x
I agree when mum started taking it they said it would take about 4 weeks to work mum was as happy as anything in a week tops xx
 

Martin099

Registered User
Nov 13, 2012
53
Dorset
I agree when mum started taking it they said it would take about 4 weeks to work mum was as happy as anything in a week tops xx
Has anyone had experience of someone taking both Citalopram and Lorazapam at the same time?
 

Lumincat

Registered User
Jan 14, 2014
3
Portugal
Lorazapam and Citalopram

Hi Everyone

My mother's dementia has taken a turn for the worse in the last 10 days. Mum is 70 and was diagnosed a year ago with vascular dementia & signs of alzheimers. She still lives in her own home with two care visits a day, usually for about 2 or 3 hours in duration.

10 days ago we noticed an increase in anxiety, mixed with a noticeable depression. There are a few know reasons - fear of television, mirrors and window reflections has come and gone for two years now, but appears to have worsened over the past few weeks. Also mum is struggling with pain from her knee and we have started to see specialists with a view to a knee-replacement. This is such a shame because mum still loves her garden but finds it difficult to do much due to her knee.

I have been getting regular phone calls during the night and need to go over to mums to comfort her when she's upset. This can't continue though because we have an 18 month old daughter and my wife is due to give birth to our second child in 3 weeks time. We have seen the GP and local dementia / mental health team this week - mum was initially prescribed Citalopram (an anti-depressant), however this was changed to Lorazepam following a second consultation two days later.

I would really appreciate any shared experiences of these drugs, positive or negative. Can they be taken together or will this cause more damage than good? It just seems to me that the specialists didn't really know what to try themselves and its a case of trial and error!

Thanks for reading, all responses will be gratefully received :)

Martin

Hi Martin,

My Dad takes both drugs and they work well together, he is on 10mg Citalopram and 2.5mg Lorazapam, the Citalopram in the morning and Lorazapam in the evening. It seems to help him sleep thought the night. He has many other drugs for his other illnesses. I guess the best person to talk to about the drugs is your doctor.

My heart goes out to all of you as I know what it's like being a 24/7 carer for both my elderly parents. Not easy. :(
 

Lumincat

Registered User
Jan 14, 2014
3
Portugal
Hi Martin,

My Dad takes both drugs and they work well together, he is on 10mg Citalopram and 2.5mg Lorazapam, the Citalopram in the morning and Lorazapam in the evening. It seems to help him sleep thought the night. He has many other drugs for his other illnesses. I guess the best person to talk to about the drugs is your doctor.

My heart goes out to all of you as I know what it's like being a 24/7 carer for both my elderly parents. Not easy.
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
That's interesting about taking both, I think i will talk to the gp about considering putting mum on citalopram, she is very tearful and over emotional. I take it myself and it really does sort that out. nothing wrong with me.:D i was always so anti taking these sorts of things but then your realise they really do improve quality of life.

I think both gps and pharmacists can see contra indications on their computers, but i guess with dementia it is also how the individual responds, which can be different in each case.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,432
66
Toronto, Canada
From our personal experience with my mother, I would be careful with the lorazepam, as it can be addictive. I found it was more for immediate use when my mother went off on an aggressive and violent rant. The nursing home did start relying on it too much for my comfort and I had them cut it down and eventually cut it out.

You should discuss the matter with the physician and the pharmacist.
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
Thanks. With my mum, I'm hoping as she is 96 that it may be possible for her to be kept going on it and that therefore the addiction won't matter.


mind you i was a bit concerned today, it turns out she is having a glass of wine with her lunch. She hasn't drunk for years, but apparently now she asks for it every day and enjoying it. I didn't think she was supposed to drink with lorazepam, I don't mind her having the wine but I wish the NH hadn't offered it to her.
 

Gigglemore

Registered User
Oct 18, 2013
526
British Isles
My story is the similar to Yoyo's. My Mum had suddenly become very depressed and anxious and has only been on 10 mg Citalopram for a month but I noticed a huge change after about a week. She is in respite care and the home wanted her to be prescribed more sleeping tablets (which I was concerned about) so the GP prescribed Citalopram at my request and instructed them to give her no sleeping tablets for a week. Since starting on Citalopram she has not needed any sleeping tablets.

Can't comment on mixing it with Lorazapam as Mum is on Memantine.

I am so pleased I requested something for Mum's anxiety and depression - she has turned back into the happy outgoing lady she usually was, and her appetite has returned. So the Citalopram has been great for both of us even though it's only Mum that is swallowing it!

Good luck.
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
Glad to here that gigglemore. It is surprising that one has to sort of campaign on behalf of one's parent for this sort of thing, it makes you think that people who are without close family end up struggling along without this kind of help.:(
 

Hisstessa

Registered User
Sep 19, 2013
30
USA
Hi Everyone

My mother's dementia has taken a turn for the worse in the last 10 days. Mum is 70 and was diagnosed a year ago with vascular dementia & signs of alzheimers. She still lives in her own home with two care visits a day, usually for about 2 or 3 hours in duration.

10 days ago we noticed an increase in anxiety, mixed with a noticeable depression. There are a few know reasons - fear of television, mirrors and window reflections has come and gone for two years now, but appears to have worsened over the past few weeks. Also mum is struggling with pain from her knee and we have started to see specialists with a view to a knee-replacement. This is such a shame because mum still loves her garden but finds it difficult to do much due to her knee.

I have been getting regular phone calls during the night and need to go over to mums to comfort her






when she's upset. This can't continue though because we have an 18 month old daughter and my wife is due to give birth to our second child in 3 weeks time. We have seen the GP and local dementia / mental health team this week - mum was initially prescribed Citalopram (an anti-depressant), however this was changed to Lorazepam following a second consultation two days later.

I would really appreciate any shared experiences of these drugs, positive or negative. Can they be taken together or will this cause more damage than good? It just seems to me that the specialists didn't really know what to try themselves and its a case of trial and error!

Thanks for reading, all responses will be gratefully received :)

Martin
Martin, I went through this with my mother when her Alz took a nose dive. Extreme agitation, afraid of mirrors etc etc etc. She was on Donzapil and Trazadone. When it hit 3pm she was shaking and could not be consoled. I talked to my neighbor who just went through this with her grandmother and she suggested Xanax. I gave her the Xanax and told her to wait 5 minutes and she would feel better. It worked like a charm. I did this up until (with Dr's approval) a week before placing her in a residential facility. Different Dr took her off the Xanax and started her on something else. The facility called me begging me to contact her Dr and change her back to the Xanax. Complete calm and no problem since. What works for one does not always work for another
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
I found out, due to the close quarters my mother's dying brought upon us, that my big sis and youngest, older brother both use Citalopram.

I've tried to refrain from saying 'don't know what they've got to be depressed about' but obviously I've failed.

Anyway...brother took Lorazepam as well as Citralopam, it made him sleep and sister has apparently been taking it for years and dropping a few polite litres of sherry in tandem.

They still function enough to make you wonder.

Even when the sh*t was hitting the fan.

Makes me wonder.
 

virg

Registered User
Jan 13, 2010
112
cheshire
I think Mum was on Citalopram and it can affect the salt levels in the body so ended up having some fits. I think it's pretty rare for that to happen though but worth keeping an eye on.
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
I only ever comment on posts like this with my 'work' head on - I work for a drug treatment agency which helps people who are addicted to tranquillisers (Lorazepam is one)

There can be no denying that tranquillisers work but the recommendation is that they are used only for 2-4 weeks maximum as they are extremely addictive. This is a useful webpage to read:-

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-...-tranquillisers/benzodiazepines/#.Ux3zWYXxHZc

There hasn't been enough research done into the benefits of using them to calm agitated alzheimers/dementia patients, which is actually something I am asking one of our volunteers to do some research into at the moment. They increase the risk of falls and confusion in the elderly.

The problem is that the brain and body become quickly tolerant to the medication and larger and larger doses are needed to maintain stability. There are many side effects beside risk of falls and confusion.

So I guess its one of those 'devil and the deep blue sea' issues ...

I can't comment on Citalopram because that's an antidepressant and I'm not as well-versed in those! When the nurses said "... that the drugs take about 3/4 weeks to kick in" I assume she was referring to the Citalopram because that's not the case with Tranquillisers - the opposite is true in as much as they work very well in the first instance but become less effective over time.