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Airicept
IHatethisdisease
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 11:31 AM
Joined: 12/12/2016
Posts: 2


I was just prescribed Airicept a couple of weeks ago, thought I was starting to remember better, but now it seems like I am having the same problems.  Is this normal?
Jeff.Borghoff
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 11:36 AM
Joined: 12/8/2016
Posts: 11


Hello, 

I too take Aricept.  I believe the medication is supposed to help with your cognitive operations.  It did take me some time to see some positive affects of the medication.  I do take a low dosage in the evening.  Are you seeing any side effects like persistent vivid dreaming? 


grandmalynda
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 3:39 PM
Joined: 12/3/2016
Posts: 374


I've been taking Aricept for  2 years.  Not realy sure if it helps or not, still seeing pretty steady decline in functioning.  When I see new neuro am going to ask about the Exelon patch.

 


Mimi S.
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 4:16 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7029


Aricept is not a cure.

What is does is slow down the process.

Often, docs add other meds like Namenda as the disease progresses.

Welcome to all the Newbies on this post.  We are so glad you found us.

Do read all you can about the disease.  alz.org is great, just not too much at a time.

There are several good books: I'm Still Alice, very realistic fiction, as well as On Pluto by a PWD.  There are others.  Just ask.

Do become involved in Best Practices.  Several of us on these Boards feel it is what has slowed down our progression.

There are other things you can do to help slow down the course of this disease, including:

(1) Sticking as closely as you can to a Mediterranean diet (with wine and nuts), which has been shown to help prevent/delay the onset of AD, and also slow its progression. See:

Basically, it involves:

- High intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals

- High intake of unsaturated fatty acids (mostly in the form of olive oil)

- Low intake of saturated fatty acids

- Moderately high intake of fish

- Low-to-moderate intake of dairy products (mostly cheese or yogurt)

- Low intake of meat and poultry

- A regular but moderate amount of ethanol, primarily in the form of wine and generally during meal.

To that, I would add eating a quarter cup of nuts every day -- quite a few studies have found they're very good for you. 

Also, olive oil is very good for salad dressings etc, but not so much so for cooking especially at higher temps. Use canola oil for that, or a mix of the two. (I've seen plenty of products that contain olive and canola oils.)

Avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats like the plague.

(I also take Omega 3 and antioxidants.)

(2) Lots of physical exercise ... there is quite a bit of evidence it can help prevent/delay onset. (As strenuous as possible. Recent research shows such build new brain cells!)

(3) Lots of exercise for the brain -- activities that involve learning something new. I've seen some reports that learning new things coupled with using a computer can be particularly helpful.  (A variety is best. Figure out what stretches your mind but is not so hard you are frustrated.)

(4) Socialization, doing things with friends and family. (Most of us do not do well in large and/or noisy groups.)

(5) Plenty of rest. 

(6) NO SMOKING!!! and avoid air pollution as much as possible.

(7) Do whatever you can do to minimize stress.

(And take meds as directed.)


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 8:51 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Aricept (and the like) are generally started at a very low (not clinical) dose...in order help the body adjust, otherwise can have side effects like the runs and stomach.  It is increased every 6 weeks or so until the highest dose of 20-23mg. 

Most people notice nothing.  It does NOT improve cognition.  What it does, generally, for most people, is allow you continue operating at the same level for longer...and eventually many notice some gradual decline. 

That said, the disease is still raging on in you brain...and if you no taking it, you would notice you decline much more noticeably. 

If one stops the med, you will sink down where you brain really is...and no ever go back up if you restart.  At least that how it act for most people. 

If you can tolerate it (some dementia kinds cannot), count youself lucky. 

And is true, many are on 2 different meds, like Aricept and Namenda.  However, again, docs like give you body time adjust.

And, for what it worth, I take mine in the morning...so I have the best brain function during day, and otherwise I no sleep. 

Some dementias NO work well Aricept and will have awful reactions that make the dementia much worse...like hallucinations and all.  Indeed, that how they diagnose some of the other dementias. 


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 3:38 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16579


Welcome to our online support group, ihatethisdisease.  Mimi was the person who first introduced me to Best Practices, and they are working for me.  I have been on Exelon patch and Namenda for seven years.  I noticed improvement in my speech and memory within a week of beginning low dose Exelon patch seven years ago.  I am still noticing improvement from how I was, seven years ago.


As said, the medications do not help everyone.  The risks must be balanced with the benefits. 


Iris L.


obrien4j
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 6:26 PM
Joined: 11/18/2016
Posts: 451


When is it best to take Aricept? The pamphlet that accompanied the medicine said at night but I've seen several take it in the morning.
julielarson
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 6:32 PM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


Obrianj yes Aricept can effect sleep so it is better taken in the morning. It also can cause vivid dreams or nightmares.
Mimi S.
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:47 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7029


Most begin by talking in the evening because one of the possible side effects is sedation  

However some folks have vivid dreams and other sleep disturbances so they take it in the morning. If you do, the warning is not to drive or operate machinery until you see what effect it has on your body.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 11:11 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


I have never heard of it cause sedation....it INCREASES neurotransmitter, which sort of the exact opposite sedation. ????  Do you have a link that???
Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 8:14 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7029


No I don't have a link.  Discussion with doctor.
The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 10:31 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Here the drugs.com link:

https://www.drugs.com/sfx/aricept-side-effects.html

I do no know that "most" take in evening....as most people I know dementia take it in the morning when they get the greatest brain boost effects. It only on here that I hear the evening thing....and it make me real wonder, question. 

But just looking at the mechanics the drug...sedation would only be caused, I believe if extreme overdose....as a bodily response too much neurotransmitter....same as for the myasthenia gravis med. 

The first tier response is....loose stools, and loss control that (this where MOST people at when they first start it), why we need time adjust and slow up the dose clinical level.

The second tier response would be over activation muscles....cramps.

The third tier over dose would be shut down of muscles...fatigue. 

I can no imagine a doctor think that normal, unless they are in practice of start people on the highest dose right away - and as such are seeing the extreme overdose response????  Hard say. 

This why I always advocate UNDERSTAND THE MECHANICS you meds....know what they do and why. As Caveat Emptor (buyer beware)....as we have often be our own advocates this stuff. 

<3


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 10:49 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3431


 I use to take it in the morning because of the constant dreams at night from it. It also enhanced my skills after a few weeks not just stayed at baseline.

 


SunnyBeBe
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 11:38 AM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1152


I"m appreciating these posts about Aricept. I've read quite a bit about it, but haven't been very impressed with what I've found about it or Namenda.  My inquiry has been due to my HCPOA for my cousin, who developed VD at age 62. The progress was rather sudden. MRI showed multiple strokes.  She's now 65 and has some of Stage 7 traits, though, she still has some from Stage 6.  (Wheelchair bound, double incontinent, little awareness of surroundings, only knows me and my parents, speaks but cannot carry conversation, etc. ) I realize Stages may not apply to her with VD as opposed to AD, but now psychiatrist is saying she may have mixed with AD, so, may consider Aricept.  I'm hesitate.  Just searching for info. You all seem very informed.
julielarson
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 11:47 AM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


SunnyBeBe I started taking Aricept over a year ago for my MCI and took it in the morning as per my Nurse practitioner telling me that it would be best to take it in the morning.. It was still affecting my sleep so at first I started only taking a half of one but I could tell a difference in functioning and so now I take it right when I get up which is about 4am and sleep a whole lot better now.
SunnyBeBe
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 11:58 AM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1152


Oh, thank you for that info. I suppose that I really want to weigh the pros and cons of starting my cousin on two new meds, since she is so severely effected at this point. She does nothing for herself at this point and is receiving Palliative care in MC.   Stomach upset is a worry, with her incontinence. (Concern over UTI due to diarrhea.) And I worry that if she can't tolerate it, (she has a sensitive stomach), then will she receive a more rapid decline if she has to come off of it. 

 Plus, there is no real confirmation that these meds will help her any, since she is only known to have VD, not AD.  I don't know how they would confirm that it's Mixed at this point.  Her decline was in a stepped down fashion, consistent with VD.  It's quite a decision.  I don't want to start something on an unconfirmed theory that might make her uncomfortable.  


grandmalynda
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 11:59 AM
Joined: 12/3/2016
Posts: 374


I have been on aricept for 2 yrs.  I've always taken it at night.  Just switched to mornings about a week ago.  So far I have noticed more clarity in the morning.  Looking forward to being clearer during the day.

--Lynda

 


SunnyBeBe
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 12:06 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1152


I appreciate all these comments. Thank you.
obrien4j
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 2:05 PM
Joined: 11/18/2016
Posts: 451


I take it at night but will try in the mornings to see if it clarifies things for me. I do have sleeping problems  again, waking up several times and then laying there awake @ 4a.m.ish.

My dreams are ok for now but I have had really bad calf cramps, do they ever go away? 

 


julielarson
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 2:10 PM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


Aricept can give you leg cramps? I have had leg cramps for about a year or a little more.. I never thought about Aricept being the reason for them.

 


Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 3:34 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16579


Obrien, early morning wakening can be a sign of depression.  I don't remember if you are on an antidepressant.  Keep a list of your symptoms for your next visit to your physician.


Iris L.


Mimi S.
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 4:56 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7029


Jean, I take Calcium supplements at night for the cramps.

 

Hopefully next week sleep will be better.

 

But I also am usually able to relax and sleep sometimes when I don't realize I have been.

 

Tossing and turning is a good sign I'm not.

 

Take care.
The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2016 7:03 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


So here goes my best explain this...

Aricept an "acytel-choline enzyme inhibitor" (my muscle med is a "choline-enzyme inhibitor"). 

What this means is...when the neuron fire neurotransmitter (acytel-choline or choline) it hits the receptor brain (or muscles), is used "contract the muscle" or, in brain, "fire other neurons"...then all excess is immediately broken down by an enzyme.  The med/s SLOW that enzyme down...so it do no break the neurotransmitter down. 

What that means is...that there MORE neurotransmitter around - firing things off. 

Think of it like this...neurotransmitter = fire; fire make you jump and is immediately put out.  With Aricept (or the muscle med)...the fire stay around and is no completely put out....so you muscle stay jumping and jumping (IF OVERDOSE). 

You body turn acytel choline in choline.....and choline in acytel choline...so it work both ways.

IF you muscles keep being stimulated, they will contract....esp you weaker muscles....like you shins. 

IF they STAY contracted long time....you will get tired. 

That how it work. 

Acyle-choline affect primarily brain neurons AND the gut muscles - particulary the ones that release fluid in gut (hence the runs).  Choline primarily affect the muscles.  But they cross make each other...so EXCESS in the body (that you do no need) will be converted in order preserve you body. 

Hence why more is no better...but just more than you need and will create side effects. 

This is also WHY the body need a long time taper up and get used it! 

PS...I also find more clarity take in morning, esp with the Namenda. 

<3


SunnyBeBe
Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 8:30 AM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1152


That's a great explanation about how the med works.  But, does it also apply, if the patient has VD and not AD?
julielarson
Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 8:33 AM
Joined: 9/30/2015
Posts: 1155


I would rely on the Neurologist for that question.
SunnyBeBe
Posted: Friday, December 23, 2016 1:03 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1152


Okay. I suppose that I can take her back to the Neurologist.  It's been about 2 years since her MRI and diagnosis with VD. (She's now 65.) I'm not sure how she would handle another MRI, at her current level of progression.