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101 year old person. Wake up multiple times to urinate. Take Melatonin before bed time. Is there any necessity to take Unisom?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1775 Questions
I've been the caretaker for my mother who is 101. Since I have to get up multiple times a night to help her pee pee, etc, I lose a lot of sleep. I've been taking a Unisom every 5th night. It helps me get to sleep and "catch up" with my sleep. Would it be a good idea for
my 101 yr old Mom to take a Unisom every 5th night too? She and I take a Melatonin
every night before bedtime. The Melatonin seems to be enough for her because she
does sleep longer than I do. Her best "sleep time" is between 5 or 6am and 11am when
she seems to be sleeping more soundly. I don't think that she needs the Unisom, But,
my sister asked me if that would help Mom. I think that it would be too strong for her
and not necessary. Please advise. Thank you.
Posted Wed, 18 Sep 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 11 days later
Brief Answer:
Unisom not required with the current sleep pattern

Detailed Answer:

We are talking about a centenarian who has a good amount of sound sleep of about 5 to 6 hours. As it ages the time for sound sleep reduces and this is expected in your mom. So technically speaking she does not require any other sleeping aid. We may not know if Unisom may prolong the latent sleep but has the risk of reducing the sound sleep. Although it is an anticholinergic class of drug which is frequently used for urinary incontinence, I feel that this will not be suitable for frequent voiding by your mother because of its side effect profile. Instead you can choose to try topical vaginal oestrogen cream. You can take the Geriatician opinion on this.

I suggest to continue with Melatonin for now. Reserve the others for later stages.

I appreciate for the care you take about your mother, it is missing in this generation.
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