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Can Aricept Help Advanced-Stage Alzheimer’s?

Aricept Donepezil
MEDICATION VIDEO: Aricept® (generic DONEPEZIL) is the world's most popular drug for Early-stage Alzheimer's. Does it help in Advanced-stage Alzheimer's? (Video)

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  • William A. Van Horn, MD
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chibifloom
chibifloom
December 2, 2014 7:00 pm

If the resident will not take their meds, then it would make sense to stop Aricept. If the resident will take their meds, it can't hurt anything.

My next question is how much does it affect their quality of life still being on it? These are the agitated, screaming, combative residents. I'm finding it very difficult to believe that Aricept makes that much of a difference with those residents. I've had residents in late stage Alzheimers who were severely agitated who were still on Aricept who had no changes in behavior while on it vs. when they wouldn't take their meds.

Matt Fisher, RN
Matt Fisher, RN
December 11, 2023 8:15 pm

Two common side effects of Aricept (Donepezil) are insomnia and stomach pain. I worked for 6 years as an RN Cognitive Specialist (Psych Nurse) for a large home health company, and I was often called out to Memory Care Units to assist Alzheimer’s clients that had suddenly developed psychosis (audio and/or visual hallucinations, typically accompanied by increased agitation). In many cases the psychosis was caused by sleep deprivation, and when we stopped Aricept things would often improve rapidly. I was getting dozens of people per year off of Aricept and never saw a negative outcome. Many doctors advise that it should only be used in the early stages of the disease and immediately discontinued if there is no improvement. I strongly agree with this, as the side effects, especially sleep disturbance, are a real problem.

Nancy Kern
Nancy Kern
December 11, 2023 9:41 pm
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this was extremely helpful regarding not stopping aricept. What about dosage. My husband has been on 10mg for years. His doctor says 20 mg not good for patients.

B. Berger

B. Berger

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This site was inspired by my Mom’s autoimmune dementia.

It is a place where we separate out the wheat from the chaffe, the important articles & videos from each week’s river of news. With a new post on Alzheimer’s or dementia appearing on the internet every 7 minutes, the site’s focus on the best information has been a help to many over the past 15 years. Thanks to our many subscribers for your supportive feedback.

The site is dedicated to all those preserving the dignity of the community of people living with dementia.

Peter Berger, Editor

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