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Alzheimer's disease, taking Dicorate. Can it be taken life long?

My father ,he is 74 years is suffering from severe alzhiemers disease , since 3 years he is started getting agitated and wandering around. First the doctor treated him with haldol . Now he changed the medicine with Dicorate -er 500 mg . Does this medicine continue for life long. When I was referring about this mecine it says it s for bipolar . Does we have some other medicine to calm him down and avoid wandering . I appreciate for your answer
Asked On : Thu, 8 Nov 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  71
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Neurologist 's  Response
Nov 2013

Thank you for posting your query.

I agree with you that decorate ER is a medicine used for bipolar mood disorders (depression and mania). It is also used for treating migraine and epilepsy.

For your father's wandering tendency, other medicine that is likely to be useful is Quetiapine. Please discuss this with his neurologist.

The medicines are required for short-term, and it can be stopped once his symptoms improve.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar Md DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad
Answered: Fri, 9 Nov 2012
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  User's Response
Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) are of various types. Some patients may have psychotic symptoms (suspiciousness that people are harming them or cheating them of their money etc.) or hear imaginary voices - hallucinations. Antipsychotic medications such as risperidone, quetiapine or haloperidol are used for such symptoms.
Aggression, wandering aimlessly can also be seen in the absence of psychotic symptoms. In such cases too, antipsychotics can help control symptoms. However, antipsychotics are to be used in minimal amounts in dementia - minimise the duration and dose as far as possible because they can cause increased health problems in these patients.

Hence, valproic acid/ divalproex is sometimes used in patients who are aggressive but do not have psychotic symptoms. It is probably a safer option with lesser side-effects than long term antipsychotics in patients with dementia. Otherwise you are right that valproic acid is mainly used for bipolar disorder and epilepsy.

Answered: Thu, 11 Jul 2013
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