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Any Experience With Stopping Aricept and Namenda?
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?
What is the reason for being on hospice?
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.
FOR THE MOUTH
Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray
Biotene Moisturizing Mouth Spray
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
Lemon-Glycerin Swabsticks – Triad
Lemon Glycerin 4" Swabstick – Medline
FOR THE NOSE
Saline Nasal Spray – Rite Aid
FOR THE EYES
Artificial Tears, Lubricant Eye Drops – Rite Aid
FOR THE FACE
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.
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.
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).