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Commonly Prescribed Medications for Seniors with Dementia

Dementia, which causes a decline in cognition, focus, and memory, is a frequently diagnosed condition among seniors. Though many causes of dementia are not entirely curable, there are some treatments available that could reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Following are a handful of medications Temple Alzheimer’s caregivers should familiarize themselves with.


This class of medications blocks NMDA receptors, and therefore has a positive effect on the glutamatergic system that helps regulate memory. Memantine also decreases the deterioration rate of the brain and boosts cognition. In seniors with moderate or severe Alzheimer’s, it can even boost their ability to perform daily tasks without help from a live-in or hourly caregiver in Temple, TX. However, no research studies have found that memantine is useful among seniors who are just starting to develop dementia. It is sold under the brand name Namenda.

Cholinesterase Inhibitors

Cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine, work by halting certain enzymes that attack acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter. These medications were primarily created to treat Alzheimer’s dementia, but some clinical trials suggest that they can also be helpful for vascular dementia and other types of dementia.

Antidepressant Medications

Dementia can alter brain chemistry and cause severe depression to set in, and in the early stages of dementia, the knowledge of a diagnosis can further contribute to depression or anxiety. Though not every senior will require them, some seniors with dementia can benefit from antidepressants such as trazodone or serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These medications help prevent insomnia and elevate moods.

Antipsychotic Medications

Seniors in the later stages of dementia frequently experience psychosis and other mood disorders. Drugs like olanzapine and risperidone can help to reduce suspicion, paranoia, hallucinations, agitation, and delusions. However, their side effects can change blood pressure, so antipsychotics may not be beneficial for all seniors with dementia.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, turn to a reliable Temple, TX, home care provider like Home Care Assistance. We provide flexible and compassionate memory care that enables seniors with memory disorders to age in place with dignity. Call 254-856-0600 today to learn how our Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers can help your senior loved one.