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Drugs drugs and more drugs...confusing!!
Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 4:06 AM
Joined: 1/5/2012
Posts: 32

Good morning all!  Well its 5am (EST) and I have made it thru the night with my dad with a couple of hours of sleep - however was suddenly awaken by the bed alarm earlier with dad sitting on the side of the bed trying to escape!  Whew that alarm is loud at 4:30am!!  Haha!


I have been reading posts on here tonight off and on and wow at all the different drug names I have seen.  Is there a place where I can go and read about the different drugs used for ALZ?  We are just entering this world and will be starting Aricept soon.  However, someone told me that Aricept may not be affective after someone has taken for 18 months - does anyone know if that is true?  I think the EMT that brought my dad to ER is the one that told me that.


I just figured I needed to go ahead and start learning all I can.  I hope to find a support group nearby as well as utilizing this site a good bit looking for support and advice!


Thanks and blessings,



Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 5:51 AM
Joined: 12/16/2011
Posts: 393

Susan, I don't know if there' s a place where all AD drug info is consolidated for comparison. The most widely used AD drugs - Aricept, Namenda, and Exelon - are all used to slow the progression of the disease. Some patients see significant improvement, others do not. Side effects are bothersome for some, as well. Aricept can cause GI distress, my mom had fainting issues with Namenda. So far, she has done well with the Exelon patch. But as these drugs may slow the progression of symptoms, there comes a point that the brain becomes so damaged that these drugs lose their effectiveness altogether. I have seen many posts from others whose LOs were late stage 6 and 7, and made the decision to stop these meds. And since every patient is different, there's some trial and error involved to find what seems to work best. Some will tell you that there's no way to know how effective these drugs are until they stop using them. 

Hope this helps a little - I know how scary this is for you.


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 1:49 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16448

Here is the main web page's information about the medications used in the threatment of AD.  Keep in mind that, as was said above, the response to medication is  variable.  Also some medications used for AD patients are not well tolerated in patients with a different dementia. 


Iris L.

Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 5:12 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 740

Hi, Wilsontot.

The drugs that are designed to help Alzheimer's patients per se are overviewed at:

No, there is no truth to the rumor that Aricept is not effective after 18 months.  Studies looking at long-term benefits have concluded that AD drugs were beneficial -- on average -- for at least the full length of the studies, which were in excess of five years.

Many other drugs may be prescribed for patients who develop severe behavioral problems, and you'll often see us talking about those here.  


This has been edited by the ALZConnected Moderator on February 9th, 2012 


Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 9:09 PM
Joined: 1/5/2012
Posts: 32

Thanks all!  I know there are lots of drugs used for this and that - I guess I have just seen so many never drug names - I was just wondering!  I do understand some works for others and not all - unfortunately learned that the hard way!  I know everyone is different too!


Thanks for site though - I will bookmark it so I can find it when I need it!