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Any Experience With Stopping Aricept and Namenda?
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 2:12 PM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 215

My mom is now on hospice, and they have suggested that we stop both the Aricept and the Namenda as they most likely are not doing her any good any more. I had suspected that, but was afraid to stop them myself, so I had no problem agreeing to hospice's suggestion.

Have any of you had experience with stopping either or both of these drugs with your LO? Did you see any change once you stopped them?

Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 3:02 PM
Joined: 2/28/2017
Posts: 74

My husband was on both. The only difference after stopping is that we no longer fight over whether or not he took them! How does anyone know if they slow down AD if the disease has no normal progression and every person's experience is different? The Namenda is also priced ridiculously high.
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 3:26 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2680

What is the reason for being on hospice? 

Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 3:50 PM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 409

My husband was on Namenda for approximately 2 years and when we took him off there was no difference whether he was on it or not.  It was a waste of money in our case.
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 3:56 PM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 215

Michael, the reason for hospice is that she is late Stage 7 of Alzheimer's. She does not have any other diseases.
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 7:10 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2680

You will have to excuse me as I was thinking Palliative Care, not Hospice. Under those conditions and assuming the plan is to let them die peacefully I would stop all medications  except for the ones that could relive any kind of pain that could develop.  It usually takes about two to 3 weeks for dementia medications to stop doing their thing if they ever worked. Also make sure the person is offering the following to your loved one to keep them very comfortable.  




a) Sprays

Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray

Biotene Moisturizing Mouth Spray


b) Liquids/Gels

Biotene Oral Balance, Dry Mouth Moisturizing Liquid

Oasis Moisturizing Mouthwash

Biotene Oral Balance, Dry Mouth Relief Moisturizing Gel

Orajel Dry Mouth Moisturizing Gel


c) Gum/Breath Strips

Biotene Dry Mouth Gum, Sugar Free Mint

Orajel Dry Mouth Relief, Sugar Free

Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips, Cool Mint


d) Swabs

Lemon-Glycerin Swabsticks – Triad

Lemon Glycerin 4" Swabstick – Medline




Saline Nasal Spray – Rite Aid





Artificial Tears, Lubricant Eye Drops – Rite Aid





Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray – The B&P Co.


Also pain meds if you think there is a possibility of the slightest discomfort. Better safe then sorry. 

Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 7:18 PM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 215

Thank you Michael. I appreciate the advice very much.
Posted: Monday, August 12, 2019 11:41 AM
Joined: 7/17/2017
Posts: 393

My Mom tried both, and the side effects were terrible, so we stopped both before we had a chance to see any possible benefits.  She got terrible explosive diarrhea on the lowest dose possible, and she was allergic to the patches, which terrified her when she couldn't understand the rashes; she thought she was losing her memory and that she had some kind of contagious disease!  It was just a mess, and I had those discontinued immediately. That was about four years ago.  

 Mom passed away about a year ago, and I have no regrets about stopping those medications for her (she was stage 4/5 at the time).  If she didn't have side effects, at best, the medications may have prolonged her life in the middle stages, but why would anyone want the pain and confusion of the middle stages to be prolonged?  Mom was terrified, because she KNEW that she was losing her memory, and that something was wrong. Again, I stand by my decision to discontinue the medications at that time.   

Posted: Monday, August 12, 2019 11:49 AM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 215

Thanks GemsWinner 12. It sounds like you made the right choice for your mom. My mom fortunately avoided the side effects that a lot of people experience. I don't think the Aricept ever did any good, however. When she first started the Namenda I thought I could see a tiny bit of improvement, but it was small; and, now of course they are not helping at all so I had no problem agreeing with hospice to stop them.
Posted: Monday, August 12, 2019 6:48 PM
Joined: 12/21/2014
Posts: 564

My mom had horrible side effects after stopping Namenda - she was literally unable to function.  We had weaned her off of Aricept - and she did well.  Her Namenda was inadverantly stopped because the pharmacy "ran out" and as I said, she declined rapidly.  Once we got Namenda restarted (and restarted Aricept as well), she was able to function again.  By function, I mean sit up without leaning over, stand up with assistance and legs could hold her weight, swallow, be alert.

Mom entered Hospice in mid June - she had a couple of strokes in early June and her functioning declined - but she was still able to swallow her meds and although Hospice recommended discontinuing Aricept and Namenda, I talked with her doctor and decided NOT to stop them, just because of the past experience.  By mid July, however, she had another stroke or two and was no longer able to swallow, so I discontinued those medicines then.  She passed peacefully in her sleep 5 days after I discontinued those meds (and food). 

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:43 AM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 215

Thank you Romiha for sharing your experience, and my condolences on the passing of your mom. I will watch my mom closely now that they have been stopped. My mom is also on some  anti-psychotics, which we have kept. I will watch carefully for changes without the Aricept and Namenda. My mom was on low dosages of both of them. Do you by any chance know what dosage level for these two drugs your mom was on?
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