Donepezil

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I want to find out as much as I can about Donepezil, otherwise known as Aricept. My husband has bn diagnosed with early Alzheimer's and the memory service are suggesting this might be of benefit for him. What I'm most worried about is if there is any chance it may worsen his symptoms prematurely. I'm am so worried. I'd be pleased to hear any successes and how long anyone has taken it and felt it beneficial. 

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  • Posted

    ​=12.0ptDonepezil is used to treat dementia in people who have Alzheimer’s disease. It does not cure Alzheimer’s disease, but it may improve memory, awareness and the ability to function. It improves mental function by increasing the amount of certain naturally occurring substance in the brain. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Do not stop taking it unless your doctor instructs you to do so. It may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite/weight loss, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, trouble sleeping, shakiness (tremor), or muscle cramps may occur as your body adjusts to the drug. To reduce your risk of side effects your doctor will start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose over weeks to months.
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    • Posted

      excellant post chris, just like to add, the side effects can kick

      in quickly, if they are to unpleasant request a change ASAP

      such as memantine, started off with small dose, 5mg working

      up to 20mg over a few weeks, very important to keep to

      medication and not exspect any improvement, staying at a

      static level is in itself a success, coming off medication and

      memory loss can worsen within weeks is the only proof

      that drugs work,  it seems so important to push for MRI scan

      in the first place, which is the only way to determin loss,

      so that first visit to the doc to medication being effective

      is taking far to long, vital weeks lost, many diagnosed are found

      to have vitamin deficiency, it is yet to be proven there are any

      benefits in taking some,

      but ask nurse/carer about products available, (expensive)

       

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  • Posted

    I don't see it is worth the severe side effects as it does not stop the real progression of the disease. I have also read forum posts saying it didn't have much effect for them.
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  • Posted

    I've just been told that I have Dementia, I've been on them for a while and I cannot say they they have been a great help. However it has been recomended that I contiue taking them.
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  • Posted

    My husband has dementia.  Aricept has made him almost a new man.  He does not sleep all the time and he has become quite active.  Whatever the medication has done for him has made a real improvement.  He is on a small dose.  His dementia is early stage.  An MRI was done and nothing was found other than aging vessels (he is in his 70's).  There are some days that are better than others, but for the improvement I have seen I think we are pleased the doctor recommended this medication. 
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  • Posted

    I too have recently been diagnosed with Altzheimers and was prescribed Denepezil. I was effected badly by it and ws told by my specialist to stop taking it and was advised by him that there are alternatives. I have now been prescribed patches. We'll see how it goes.... Lifes a bitch.... ;-)
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    • Posted

      I hope the patches are working for you Peter. I was prescribed Donepezil after diagnosis, and after a month on a low dose to get used to it, it was then doubled. I had to come off the higher dose as I was having bad nightmares which made me shout out and cry, so am on the lower dose which is more tolerable. Not much fun any of this. . .
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  • Posted

    My wife has been diagnosed with MCI and was given Donepezil. She had bad dreams and cramps and topped the pills in less than a week. She was given no alternative and discharged. I have been seeing changes in character and behaviour for at least two years. 

    I am left wondering if the diagnosis is candid. Of course the diagnosis makes little difference. We are where we are and there is little to be done for MCI or dementia. Support and advice are perhaps the key issues. 

    I should be glad of you observatins.

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    • Posted

      When I was diagnosed with Alzheimer's i was started on 5 mg of  Donepezil for a week and then it was increased to 10mg; at which point I had cramp and terrible nightmares so am back on 5mg now.I still have very vibrant dreams but I can cope with them. What dose was your wife on?
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    • Posted

      5mg. My wife believes donepezil was prescribed because she wanted it and as it is now cheep as chips it was tried. I found this difficult to believe. She had no great incentive to persist. She hated the dreams and she is up enough times at night without painful cramps adding to the number of times she was distrubed.
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    • Posted

      George get down to your doc and demand alternative

      try memantine/similar, side effects are different for everyone

      but on the whole a lot less, common is slight dizzy spells

      so just careful on the stairs, first will be 5mg then 10mg

      only at 15mg do drugs work then to 20mg

      statins side effects take a lot longer to kick in, maybe 1/2yrs

      so there is a reluctance to change, but dementia needs

      urgent action, which at best drugs might prevent further decline

      until you get medication sorted try daily dose of souvenaid

      order from chemist, who will explain use, £14 for4 bottles £11 online,

      vitamins may help,

      your wife would not have been given Donepezil in the

      first place, without there being a definate diagnosis, I sometimes

      wonder if this is the cheapest drug to distribute,

      this " one size suits all" is a disastrous assumpton

      good luck

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your replies LostinFrance and Mike 

      I have been to our GP twice and she knows the uncertainty has already seriously undermined my emotional health. She says MCI is on a continuum with dementia and tries to agree with my wife that nothing much is wrong and at the same time I am not wrong that Donepezil indicated dementia. The discharge said my wife would be unlikely to tollerate any of the alternative drugs and affirmed MCI.

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