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Panic... "phone them, take me through to my parents, it's an emergency"- diazepam?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Lisa74, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Lisa74

    Lisa74 Registered User

    May 27, 2011

    My Granny has just calmed down a little bit from 2.5 hours of absolute panic; she has been trying to get out of the house; believing that she has left babies in the next door house and needs to tell her parents (she believes they also live next door but are away somewhere). She has been running from the front to the back door, looking for a key to open the door with and threatening me when I won't open the door for her (and staring out of the dining room window). She has also been begging me to phone her parents. After a lot of cajoling she has finally sat down with a cup of tea but is still asking me to phone her family. No amount of 'It's just your Alzheimer's disease', 'you live here' or 'your family will be here later' has worked.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has been given a prescription of diazepam for moments like these?
  2. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    my mum had lorazepam for these times, and she had many of them, almost daily. No amount of reassuring or telling worked, she was inconsolable. She was prescribed lorazepam which is the same family as diazepam - not one jot of difference.
  3. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    I had a supply of Diazepam PRN for my wife who had LBD, the consultant authorised the GP to prescribe this mainly for car journeys to France, I was not driving but in the back seat with my wife, I was told I could also use it in other circumstances if I though it necessary.

    I only ever used it on the journeys - 3 times out of 6 journeys - it was a success.
  4. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    That must have been awful for you :(

    But yes, we've been in that situation with my Mil, and the GP prescribed 5mg of diazapam, with a 2mg dose to be given for the 7 days following. Mil got up one morning, and was completely off the scale - she has frequent delusions and suffers with horrible sundowning regularly, but this was something else. Insistant that she had to go to a christening, that her nephew (who lives in ireland) was coming to get her to show her the baby, that she had to go to the house 'just up the road', either to go to the christening, or to church, saying her Mum was expecting her (her Mum passed away around 50 years ago) - banging at the front door and windows, shouting for help, talking so rapidly she was hard to follow. We phoned the GP, described what was going on, and he told OH to come and collect the diazepam straight away. She took it, and the best way to describe it was that she then behaved like a happy little drunk, for pretty much the rest of the day! Lots of delusions, but quite cheerful about them, laughing and joking, very compliant and cheery - it was very, very odd. Blood and urine tests failed to find a reason for the manic behaviour, to this day we have no idea what on earth it was that sparked it. It was about 2 months ago, (I think) and there has been no repeat, and nor did we have any problems/side effects with the diazepam, thankfully. We still have 2mg tablets, which the GP prescribed, so we would have them on hand if this happens again - but as I said, touch wood, it hasn't so far.

    I really hope your Granny is OK for you now xxx
  5. Lisa74

    Lisa74 Registered User

    May 27, 2011
    #5 Lisa74, Jan 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    Thank you!

    Thank you for the replies :) It's good to know that you have experienced very similar things and that anxiolytic drugs do work for dementia.

    Sistermilicent, i'm really sorry it happened daily for you- that must have been absolutely terrible. Granny has awful sundowning and near constant delusions (with looooots of questions) but these panic/manic episodes only happen about once a fortnight at the moment.

    nitram, 3/6 sounds pretty good, hope the other 3 journeys weren't too bad!

    Ann Mac, it's odd that a lot of dementia sufferers think their family members live next door/on the same road/cul-de-sac isn't it? Granny believes 99% of the time that her Mum and Dad are in the house next door. She also has lots of (imagined) weddings, funerals and Hogmonay parties to attend (most days in fact!) and there is always a boyfriend or friend waiting for her somewhere! She has had manic states involving them a few times- once she tried to whack me with her stick and then attempted to knock the glass out of the window in order to get out.

    Every evening there are constant questions and delusions but it's the really manic states that we'd need the diazepam for. We did take her to the local minor injuries unit during one episode but they didn't prescribe anything and my Mum asked the GP for diazepam but he said it might make Granny wobbly/unstable and offered an anti-psychotic/neuroleptic- Risperidone, which would be terrible for her (she takes a related drug 'domperidone' when she has retching episodes due to TIAs and it makes her way more confused and disoriented).

    We'll ask again about Diazepam/Lorazepam- thanks!

    Oh and as an update Granny is a lot calmer now, we has Fish & Chips for tea, which is Granny's favourite and acted as a good distraction! I'm just hoping she stays this way now :)
  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Unfortunately, sometimes no amount of reassurance will work. I personally wouldn't tell her it's her disease or where she lives now. My mother did receive lorazepam for such moments. Using a drug for moments of great anxiety is better than letting the person work themselves into a frenzy, in my opinion.
  7. Lisa74

    Lisa74 Registered User

    May 27, 2011
    Thanks, yeah I think diazepam is the way forward!

    She lives in our house and tries to escape a lot and sometimes she is able to understand that she lives here and that she has dementia (she actually has vascular but doesn't know the word dementia so we refer to it as Alzheimer's disease) but I think when she's in a manic episode then she has no insight and there is no point using words really!
  8. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Distractions are the best when they work. You might be having fish & chips a lot more frequently. :)
  9. msbgknickers

    msbgknickers Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    The info about diazepam was useful. My father is roaming around switching lights on and off, looking for his keys, convinced he does not live here. I try to figure out how old he thinks he is so I know how to address him and who might think I am. wife, daughter, nice lady etc. I am like many of you awash with tea. The great British panacea.
  10. Kobiandmillie

    Kobiandmillie Registered User

    Jan 4, 2014

    Hi there my mum has vascular dementia and every day there is something she gets panicky about money, lights , TV losing things in the house I have been told by her dr to give her 2mg diazepam daily and since giving this for the past 2 weeks she is a bit calmer and doesn't get up so much through the night x

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