Stopping Aricept and Nemenda

mxyplxOctober 12, 2012

Has anybody experience with ending Aricept and/or Nemanda therapy? Aricept 4-1/2 years; Namenda 5 months.

My particular concern is possible acceleration of the decline. A secondary concern is the possible personality altering affect of ceasing these meds.

Googling the question brings me to the conclusion it's just not that simple because the effects of these meds appear to be irreversible. So far I have read that upon stopping these drugs the con's are worse than the pro's.

Not one site has indicated how to properly stop; taper off or cold turkey. Not one. (The doc will be consulted in due time).

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Nobody knows. Not surprised. My studies since the OP find this in general:
The medical profession knows very very little about Alzheimer's or vascular dementia.

They know even less about the drugs they are prescribing for these afflictions.

There is no published preferred method (anecdotal or medical) for stopping these meds.

Having these meds stopped after prolonged use generally leads to rapid decline of cognitive powers and behavioral degeneration to aggressiveness.

Question: If these drugs are deemed by a Doc to be no longer helping the patient then why does stopping them cause such immediate dramatic declines?

Reinstating these drugs after a stop subsequent to prolonged use restores the patients abilities to a much lower level than it was before they stopped. That is the effects of the stoppage are not completely reversible.

Stopping the drugs after a very short term (days or weeks) does no harm.

My wife's doc suggested she (my wife) is no longer benefiting from Aricept or Nemenda and we might consider stopping them. I have decided to maintain the Aricept as she has been on that for 4-1/2 years. The Namenda is coming off since she has been on that 4 months with no improvement. I decided to initiate a washout schedule that is double the initial titrating schedule. So it will take 42 days starting Tuesday.

If anybody can show me one single solitary reference that it should be done another way I'd sure like to see it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:52PM
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My husband has MS, the progressive kind, with MS "Alzheimers-like" symptoms. His neurologist prescribed Aricept and Namenda in combination. Hubby was taking about ten meds daily, yes, all prescribed, when he had seizures and had to be admitted to a hospital and went cold-turkey. On doctors orders, I disposed of all his meds (at an approved drop-off) and DH came home on minimal meds, only something for the seizures. Docs have gradually re-introduced a few new meds, including Aricept (generic "Donepizil"). As I'm his caregiver and see him daily, I don't think it's helping at this stage. He has an appointment next Wed at the doctor and we'll discuss his medications.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 8:25AM
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I am curious as to why you want to stop the meds.
True, Namenda is expensive.

My husband (Alzheimer's Disease) was on both
Namenda and the Exelon Patch for a number of years.

We were told right from the start that NOTHING
will reverse or bring about improvement
in the disease, in any way.
The most that can be expected from the meds
Is a slowing in the progression of it.

So to me it seems logical that stopping them
would accelerate the progression.
Not something I would be willing to take a chance on,
Depending, of course, on what stage of AD
your wife is in.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 10:57AM
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mxyplx: I wanted to send you an email
with some further information.
But can not find an email address for you on your member page.

Please go to my member page & send me your email address.
I have some information for you that may be helpful.
Not sure if this site would allow me to post it here though.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 11:02AM
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I sent an email address. Will try again if it didn't come thru.

My question was how best to stop the meds not whether to stop em. It would seem that is not known.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:06AM
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CA Kate

I removed my husband from each medication since they did little good versus the ill effects. As I recall I had to tapper-off most.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:06PM
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