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Medications That Mimic Dementia


Medications can be helpful in treating a variety of medical conditions. However, some common medications can worsen the symptoms of dementia. Increased confusion, forgetfulness, behavior challenges, fatigue and falls are potential side effects from prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Sometimes, certain medications can even impair cognitive function in people who do not have dementia.

Our bodies all respond differently to medications. Keep in mind that, except as a result of a stroke, dementia does not develop quickly or overnight.

Here are 10 tips on how to get the best results from the medications you take:

  1. Use one pharmacy for all your prescription needs
  2. Maintain a list of every medication that you or your loved one takes, including OTC drugs
  3. Bring this list to all medical appointments
  4. Follow the dosage guidelines
  5. Use a pillbox dispenser to stay organized and a medication reminder system if necessary
  6. When prescribed a new medication, ask your doctor if this medication is recommended for an older adult and about potential side effects
  7. Notice how you or your loved one feel and function on new medications; keep a log of symptoms that arise
  8. Talk to your physician about concerns regarding any medications
  9. Adjustments to medications should occur only under physician orders
  10. Make sure to dispose of expired or discontinued drugs responsibly
Careful use of medications will help you and your loved one live your best life possible.

Deborah Bier, PhD | Director of Special Populations

ComForCare | At Your Side Home Care

Deborah Bier, PhD, has a master's in counseling psychology and a doctorate in therapeutic counseling. In addition, Debbie has obtained the following credentials:

  • Certified Alzheimer's Educator™ – National Certification Board for Alzheimer & Aging Care
  • Certified Dementia Practitioner® – National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners
  • Certified Dementia Care Partner – Dementia Care Professionals of America, a division of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
  • Certificate in Gerontology – Allegra Learning Solutions, LLC
  • Mental Health First Aid – National Council for Behavioral Health