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Anti-depressant hopping
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Anti-depressant hopping

Hello -

My mother is on Paxil for Parkinson's related depression.  Her Dr. recently switched her to Effexor deciding that the Pail wasn't doing enough for her OCD.

A little history...   She was on Paxil which she probably didn't take correctly because of Parkinson's dementia issues.  Her Dr. switched her to Zoloft thinking it would help with OCD and socialization issues.  This caused a 4 day break from reality.  Once all her meds got back on track, and Zoloft was replaced with Paxil again, things got better. She still had some hallucination and delusion issues, but she was mostly OK.  Then she fell and broke her hip.  Post surgery, she had no grasp on reality whatsoever.  She started coming back around after a couple of weeks.  Her Dr. recently switched her from Paxil to Effexor thinking the difference in the drug might help.

Ultimately my question is, is it safe to hop around different anti-depressants like this? Especially in someone who's 85 with advanced Parkinson's and Parkinson's dementia...

Thanks -
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Treatment for Parkinson's related depression is different as its not the same as standard clinical depression. There are different dosages because the cause is neurological not psychiatric. Just of note I attended a Parkinson's group and although standard anti-depressents should be used there is a clinical study on the natural remedy rhodiola for Parkinson's related depression and it works on the standard symptoms of Parkinson's as well. That could be administered by a neurologist (some do, including mine). For a list of standard anti-depressents google "Depression Central". Namenda works on dementia. Zofran is used for Parkinson's psychosis. What I have is clinically related and have found many of these to be of help. Namenda was used not for me but for many older people with dementia I know. I might post the question in the neurology forum as Parkinson's has a totally different course of treatment. Only a doctor can decide what medications are safe and should be used but I'd reccomend applying for a home attendant for her so she is safer at home. All of my family that are elderly, many with severe disabilities live at home with a home attendant. You could find out about eligibility criteria at your local independent living center. Here's a list:
http://www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html
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