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Pain Killers for Alzheimer's ?


Registered User
Jul 30, 2008
My wife was diagnosed with Early On-set Alzheimer's approx 14 Years ago. 2 months ago we admitted her to a very good care Home. She seems to have settled-in very well. However, quite often when visiting her she is making a continuous low level whining noise. This also happens when I am not there.
The care home has not been able to identify the cause of this noise.

I have a theory as follows. In a "nut shell", my wife's brain is slowly dying. If a part of my own body were "dying" I would be in pain and would take medication to control the pain. If a part of my brain started to die off I am sure that I would get a headache. I would then take pain killers.

Does anyone know if pain killers are routinely prescribed to Alzheimer's sufferers?:confused:


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
There is a fact sheet on here
where they refer to a Norwegian study on the subject which says it might be the case.
my wife makes curious noises, not the type you describe and my mother too neither sounded like it was a pain sort of noise.
We were out and about a couple of weeks ago with our youngest and his partner (both early 20's) and they both said they were freezing and it occurred to me that my wife hasn't complained about being either too hot or to cold for ages and it was something she used to moan about regularly, likewise she used to be a regular taker of paracetamol, ibroprofin and the like never without a pack in her bag, one next to the bed the doctor used to give her prescriptions for packets of 200 (I think, it was a lot anyway) but I can't think that she's taken one is 3 years or more.
I had wondered if she started to develop something which could turn out to be serious and if she wasn't feeling pain how much further it might progress before it was picked up?


Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
East Kent
Hi. Whether or not the low level whining noise is because your wife is in pain I cannot say, but I do know that pain is under diagnosed in people with Dementia.
So do speak to her GP about trying out regular pain relief to see if their is any improvement.

My mums Sundowning eased a lot once we realised it was pain causing it and pain meds were changed she would also make continuous low whining sounds at times , which ceased when extra paracetamol had had time to work.

Sometimes though it is the Dementia causing it

I read so where and I don't know how true it is, that the brain feels no pain .

Their is an old thread on here about Paracetamol helping with agitation, I'll se if I can find it , back soon
Here it is
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Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
I have noticed that my mum reports less pain than she used to. She has chronic, severe arthritis and used to be in constant pain in her joints. Recently when I've asked, she says she's fine, and moreover seems to have little or no memory of ever having had such pain. I hope and believe that she does feel it less, and that it's not a case of not being able to express what she's feeling.

If so, at least that's one positive for dementia ....there aren't many!

Lindy x


Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
North East
Could you try giving her some paracetamol and see if this changes her behaviour. If so then you may know that yes she is in pain and she only let's out her distress when you are there or it is something else entirely.


Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
This factsheet may help you:

My husband was in constant pain; it may have been a longstanding fibro myalgia in addition to his progressing dementia. When research suggested that regular paracetamol would help, it was prescribed. He then seemed much less agitated and generally happier. It is definitely worth talking to either GP or Mental Health consultant about this.


Registered User
Jul 30, 2008
Thank you for all of your replies. I have arranged for the GP to telephone me tomorrow to discuss the"DNR" issue facing us. I will ask her about the pain killers.


Registered User
Jul 30, 2008
Pain Killer update

Pain Killer update.
My wife's GP agreed to a 1 month trial and prescribed regular pain killers. These had no effect. The whining noises continued.

I then spoke again to the GP and mentioned that about 3 years ago The Memory Clinic prescribed a very low daily dose of Diazapan, just 2mg per day when my wife was keeping us all awake at night making similar noises. The GP prescribed 2mg three times a day. After about 1 week the whining noises stopped! However it did have the side effect of over sedation. The GP has now reduced the prescription back to just 2mg per day. Fingers crossed that the whining noises will not return.

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015

Thanks for returning with an update. Good for you and the GP for trying some different medications for your wife. I'm sure this will be helpful information for others in a similar situation.

Best wishes to you!


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
When my husband was turned down by the surgeons for an op on his damaged knee they said that he had little memory of pain. They made the point that with surgery the pain would be undeniably present especially if he did not do the exercises after the op and so it was better to have pain which he forgot than pain which would be harder to live with.

I kind of get their point and definitely notice that John can have a painful day and be limping and then tell me he wants to go out walking as if he cannot remember how painful walking was. Strange!


Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
Lin, I think you're right, the brain does not feel pain. The scalp does though.
Marionq, that seems weird logic! I think I understand what is meant. When I had knee done, I do not remember any pain post op, I just got better and better at walking! Mark you, this was 9 years ago, I could have forgotten! I did get tired, but we did move house 3weeks post op! ( not recommended).