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 No more Benadryl 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:56 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Florida
Post No more Benadryl
After doing quite a bit of reading in this forum, especially reviewing the lists of "taboo" medications, I have decided to immediately stop the Benadryl my husband has been taking as a sleep medication for the past couple of months. His neurologist was not happy with it either and said to use it in moderation, but my husband is addicted to it (as he would be to anything else that he considers a sleep aid), so he's been taking it every night. He really doesn't need anything to fall asleep, he just thinks he does, and even though his REM sleep disturbances are not as bad since taking Benadryl, I'm not willing to see his cognitive functions deteriorate even faster because of a stupid antihistamine.

Since my husband is easily fooled these days (the trusting soul that he is), I fibbed and told him I would call the pharmacy to ask for something that would not make his condition worse. He said, "fine, just make sure you get me something". I have to get him something or he won't fall asleep because he'll think he can't.

Question: What can I give him that looks like a pill, but has nothing in it to cause harm?

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Marilyn


Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:32 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 am
Posts: 215
Location: Seattle, WA
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Most health food stores will sell you empty gelatin capsules that you can stuff yourself. I'd suggest powdered sugar....

Amusing story: I volunteered for a trial of a non-pharmaceutical sleep intervention. Each participant got both the active intervention and a placebo control.

Being someone who does not twiddle his neurotransmitters casually, I read the consent *VERY* carefully. They were trying to not identify which was the placebo and which was the intervention (fair enough), but since one was a device and one was a capsule, it was . . .sorta obvious... if you knew the sponsors made devices.

Anyway, I got my bottle of placebos....described in the consent as "carbohydrate complex" - read, sugar. The instructions were explicit:

1) Take one capsule immediately before going to bed.
2) Do not drive or operate heavy machinery.
3) WARNING: May Cause Drowsiness

Fortunately, I washed out of the study a few nights in, and they didn't bother to collect these obviously *VERY POWERFUL* sleeping pills. ;0) So now I have a bottle ready for anything Cal dishes out. The joke in our house is that they're this new wonder drug, pronounced PLAQUE-uh-bow. Careful. Only take one. ;0)

Best of luck with this; I too am a big fan of the therapeutic lie where appropriate. (Orienting the demented to reality and logic is, at times, as useful as conducting vocal technique lessons for swine.)

Eric

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Cal is not the real name of a real 84 year old with DLB. I don't speak for LBDA, nor do I have clever initials behind my name, so information is provided without warranty. Caveat everybody. I blog at http://PragmaticCaregiver.blogspot.com


Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:52 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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In our local support group, someone gives their LBD spouse VitaminC drops (lozenges) -- "you can't take more than one at night or it'll keep you asleep for 24 hours!"


Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:05 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:56 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Florida
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Robin.....
What a great idea....Vit C lozenges. I think I'll head over to Walgreens this evening to pick up some. Actually, I better not think about it and just go or we'll have problems tonight if he doesn't have something before bed. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! - I just had to repeat that :wink:

Eric.....
that's a great story and it made me LOL. I don't get many chuckles these days, so thanks for the laugh. :lol:

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Marilyn


Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:23 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:56 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Florida
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Robin and Eric.........

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I was unable to get to Walgreens Saturday evening, so I had no choice but to allow the Benadryl one last time at bedtime because he wouldn't go to sleep without his "pill". I had shown him literature how anticholingerics can affect cognitive function and I truly believe he did understand that Benadryl and antihistamines in general are not good for him because he had agreed to let me find an alternative.

Yesterday, I went to Walgreens and explained the problem to the pharmacist. She agreed with the suggestion of a Vit C tablet and so I got a bottle of the smallest dose (only because the tablet is small). He already takes a multi-Vit in the morning, but it's like a horse pill, and I wanted to avoid anything that resembled a vitamin pill. I filled an empty Tylenol bottle with the Vit C tabs, wrote "For Sleep - Take 1" on a sticker and pasted it around the bottle so he couldn't see it was a Tylenol bottle. He looked at the Vit C tab and said it looked so different from the Benadryl capsules, but he accepted it as his new sleeping pill.

Conclusion: The pill worked like a charm. It was almost comical because about 15 minutes after he took the Vit C, he said it was working even faster than the Benadryl and he was getting very sleepy. I tucked him in, had a good chuckle after I left the bedroom, and he slept like a baby from 11:00pm to 8:30am this morning.

Thank you all so much......without your knowledge I wouldn't have known how bad antihistamines are for cognitive function. I knew his neuro wasn't happy with it, but said it was ok "in moderation", but there is no moderation for my husband.

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Marilyn


Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:49 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 am
Posts: 215
Location: Seattle, WA
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I *told* you those placebos were very powerful!


Just be careful; in thousands of clinical trials, placebos have been associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, depression, mania, weight loss, weight gain, hair loss, hair growth, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, insomnia and sleepiness. ;0)

Glad to hear it worked so well. The vitamin C was an excellent choice. We could all use more, they're usually very generically tableted and it's not going to interact with much of anything.

Someday I'll tell the tale of our Placebo Scotch. ;0)

Eric

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Cal is not the real name of a real 84 year old with DLB. I don't speak for LBDA, nor do I have clever initials behind my name, so information is provided without warranty. Caveat everybody. I blog at http://PragmaticCaregiver.blogspot.com


Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:54 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:39 am
Posts: 87
Location: Lucca, Italy
Post Antihistamines
Marilyn, Robin and Eric, How devious and how wonderful solving the Benadryl problem with a healthy Vit. C. After reading these last exchanges I have decided that I am taking my LO off of his niaprizine antihistamine give to him by the neuro. It never sat well with me although he waved my concerns away and I am stopping them as of this evening. In my case, my LO doesn't want anything and has no problem falling asleep, it's the staying asleep beyond 3 or 4 hours that becomes tricky. So for tonight no bedtime meds but tomorrow night or at least in a couple of nights I am thinking of retrying the Melatonin. Unfortunately and stupidly I told him that I could not tolerate the Meatonin....it literally made me almost swoon....so now I think he doesn't want anything to do with it. How effective is it? Thanks for the chuckle. Irene Martinelli :lol:

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Irene in Italy


Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:36 pm
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