Lewy Body Dementia: Medications to Avoid

People with Lewy body dementia (LBD) may experience symptoms such as tremors, hallucinations, confusion, and difficulty with movement. As a result, they need to avoid certain medicines that may make the symptoms worse. In this post, I discuss some medications that Lewy body dementia patients should avoid. 

The following medications may worsen some of these symptoms and should be avoided or used with caution in people with LBD:

Antipsychotic medications

Some antipsychotic medications can increase the risk of Parkinsonian symptoms and cause confusion and hallucinations in people with Lewy Body Dementia.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants can cause confusion and worsen Parkinsonian symptoms in people with Lewy body dementia.

Anti-anxiety medications

Some anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, can cause confusion and worsen parkinsonian symptoms in people with Lewy body dementia.

Dopamine agonists

Dopamine agonists, which are used to treat Parkinson’s disease, can worsen confusion and hallucinations in people with Lewy body dementia.

Note that these medications may not affect all people with LBD in the same way and individual responses may vary. 

Should someone with Lewy body dementia self-medicate?

No, I don’t recommend someone with Lewy body dementia to self-medicate. LBD is a complex condition and can have a variety of symptoms that can impact a person’s ability to think, move, and communicate. Self-medicating can be dangerous, as it can worsen symptoms or interact with other medications the person is taking.

Here’s why it is not recommended for someone with LBD to self-medicate:

Complex symptoms

LBD can cause a wide range of symptoms that can impact a person’s thinking, movement, and communication. Self-medicating can worsen these symptoms or cause new ones to develop.

Interactions with other medications

Self-medicating can increase the risk of medication interactions, which can lead to adverse effects or worsen symptoms.

Lack of expertise

People with LBD may not have the expertise or understanding of their condition to make informed decisions about their treatment.

Risks to safety

Self-medicating can put someone with LBD at risk for adverse effects or complications, including falls, infections, or other health problems.

Which doctor to consult for Lewy body dementia?

For Lewy body dementia, a person should consult with a neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the brain and nervous system. They have extensive training and experience in managing dementia, including LBD.

In some cases, a person with LBD may also benefit from a consultation with other specialists, such as a geriatrician (a doctor who specializes in the care of older adults) or a psychiatrist (a doctor who specializes in the treatment of mental illness).

How can a neurologist help someone with Lewy body dementia?

Specialist knowledge

Neurologists have specialized knowledge of conditions that affect the brain and nervous system, including LBD.

Diagnostic expertise

Neurologists are trained to diagnose LBD and other forms of dementia, and they can help determine the specific type of dementia a person has.

Experience with treatment

Neurologists are familiar with the treatments and medications that are used to manage LBD, and they can help develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

Coordination of care

Neurologists can coordinate care with other specialists, as needed, to ensure that the person with LBD receives comprehensive, coordinated care.

One Comment

  1. My father has Lewy body dementia. He is getting worse. I am mostly uing his gait as a metric for my father’s worsening pathology. I know Cerebrolysin is a highly effective agent in symptomatic (and possibly regenerative) treatment of dementia. Cerebrolysin is either extremely difficult to get through proper channels or it may not be available for providers to prescribe in USA. It is easily available through less than perfectly proper channels. I am curious of your thoughts on the use of Cerebrolysin and I’d love to hear anyone’s firsthand experience using it to treat dementia. I have used it myself for mood, memory, and improved general executive functioning. Thank you!

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