Alzheimer's Risk Elevated with Anti-Anxiety Meds

The Link Between Anxiety Medication and Alzheimer’s

By , 8:00 am on

Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most severe types of dementia, has been naturally associated with aging because researchers have yet to find a cure or a cause. However, recent medical studies have linked long-term use of anti-anxiety drugs with this devastating illness. This news could be beneficial in detecting and treating Alzheimer’s, as well as managing in-home Alzheimer’s care in Grand Rapids.

What Drugs Are To Blame?

Elderly individuals who take prescription medication for anxiety and insomnia are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The benzodiazepine class of drugs is primarily responsible for this trend. Some common medications that have been confirmed to induce early symptoms of Alzheimer ’s disease include:

  • Lorazepam – Trade name is Ativan
  • Diazepam – Market name is Valium
  • Alprazolam – Also known as Xanax

Potent sleep inducing medications such as Ambien have not been linked to increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease so they may be a suitable substitute. Yet, Ambien pills could cause side effects such as confusion and hallucinations, which might be easily mistaken for some forms of dementia.

Paradox between Medication and Alzheimer’s Disease

Some medical experts believe that the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease causes symptoms such as insomnia, depression and anxiety. Consequently, people who experience the initial phases of this degenerative disease might need to receive prescription medication that includes benzodiazepines. In turn, taking such drugs can make pre-existing Alzheimer’s even worse. Ultimately, such potent prescription medication for anxiety must be managed properly in order to minimize the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Long term usage of anti-anxiety medication creates dependencies in users.

In-Home Alzheimer’s Care

The risks and benefits of anti-anxiety drugs must be weighed carefully by a physician and monitored by a 24/7 senior caregiver in Grand Rapids. Live-in Alzheimer’s care is a very important part of the disease management puzzle. A trained and experienced Alzheimer’s caregiver knows what progressive symptoms to look for, potentially indicating that a change is treatment is needed, and also manages day-to-day tasks such as setting medication reminders and preparing meals.

If you would like to get specialty in-home senior care in Grand Rapids for your aging loved one with Alzheimer’s, call Home Care Assistance today at 616-243-0835. We would be happy to schedule a free home consultation to discuss our unique and individualized care plans.