1. Marty20068

    Marty20068 Registered User

    Jan 5, 2009
    1
    Aberdeen
    My Dad has cerebral demential, he's been in a home now for a year. Over the last few months he's not opened his eyes and basically is asleep everytime I visit. I have asked about his meds and the only strange one that I'm worried about is the diazopam....he's getting 6mg a day. I have tried to find out about this as a level but no one seems willing to commit ? Is this a case of restraint by medication ? I can't really see why he's on such a high dose. Unfortunately I'm 70 miles from his care home and the GP doesn't seem that bothered in speaking to me. I appreciate that every person is an individual and therefore the meds are not going to be the same, but if anyone has an opinion on this I'd be grateful to hear it.
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Hi Marty and welcome to Talking Point

    With all the normal provisos (we're not medical people, we don't know your father's situation etc etc) I have to say that 6 mg is not an especially high dose. However, older people are especially susceptible to side effects. On that basis you probably need to get the answer to several questions. 1) why is he being prescribed this? 2) is whoever prescribed it familiar with it's effects on people with dementia? 3) is there an alternative? There are certain things that this drug can be very useful for, but you are right that it can also be used as a chemical cosh. The trouble is, many doctors take any requests for information as an challenge so you really have to approach this cautiously.
     
  3. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello Marty...

    Welcoome to TP....:)

    I agree with Jennifer 6mgs is not a high dose of Diazepam...my husband takes the same dose in a day..and has been on much higher doses for many years. Since his Alzheimers diagnosis I've reduced him to 6mg....yet the length of time he sleeps has increased...
    If I remember correctly 6mg..ie: 2mg three times daily..is the minimum reccommended dose for treating anxiety short term.

    I'd be inclined to be asking the questions which Jennifer has put forward....in a non -confrontational way...

    Let us know how you get on...

    love gigi xx
     
  4. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,854
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Marty,

    My dad was not on diazepam on a daily basis, but we used it on an ad hoc basis to calm him down when he became aggressive. The effect was usually to calm him down and send him to sleep. If we used it on a regular basis he became very depressed (to the extent of threatening suicide) and in the end he was taken off it altogether. The consultant told us that his type of dementia (semantic dementia - a frontal lobe type) made him unsuitable for diazepam.

    Of course this was just our personal experience.
     
  5. AnnS

    AnnS Registered User

    Apr 26, 2008
    15
    South
    Medication

    Marty,
    Hi, I'm afraid I can't offer any insight to dosages but as a long distance carer I have had experience of problems in trying to find out why my mum is on a particular drug. I used to make telephone appointments with mum's GP. So the GP would phone me at the appropriate time and that way I could talk directly to the GP. Might be worth asking if this arrangement is available with your dad's GP. Not sayings its a full proof approach but if I have any doctors get a bit defensive I basically just put it to them that as POA I'm responsible for mums welfare and I need their "expert" advice in order make any welfare decisions. I know its buttering them up somewhat but it sometimes works. You do have to tread carefully with the doctors but you have a right to know. If they don't do the telephone appointments you could also drop the GP a letter if they are employing avoidance tactics.

    Good luck

    Ann
     
  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,138
    Toronto, Canada
    That's excellent advice from Ann. I am so grateful that here in Ontario the POA is the ultimate decision maker. I've had enough issues with my mother's meds to last me a lifetime as it is. The thought of having no control over what happens to her would drive me to the brink.

    Is it true that the doctors have the last say in care in the UK? That's so wrong, on so many levels.
     
  7. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Without a living will it may well be true Joanne.

    Most doctors though will listen to the patient's family concerns, at least I would hope so.
     
  8. Marianne

    Marianne Registered User

    Jul 5, 2008
    301
    NW England
    Marty have you spoken with the manager of the home about why your dad is sleeping so much. I would expect the manager to know and be concerned enough to ask the GP for guidance regarding dosage if your dad's sleeping is excessive.
     

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