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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Has anyone tried the Aricept/Memantine combination?

    My father's consultant - having never met him! - has decided, in their infinite wisdom, that Daddy should change from Aricept to Memantine.

    From what I have read on the Internet, there was a trial in 2008, yes, 2008, and a paper published which clearly stated that people who have been stable on Aricept for some time and then added Memantine into the mix then had a therapy which slowed cognitive and functional decline in Alzheimer's compared with Aricept on its on or no drug treatment. The benefits had small-to-medium effect sizes that increased with time on treatment and were sustained for years.

    Well that sounds good and yet, even though this study is now quite old in medicine terms, NICE haven't included it in their latest studies - why, what are these people paid for exactly? Now that Aricept has lost its unique licence and can be made by other pharmaceutical companies, it will have become cheaper so what would be the problem in hoping for the best outcome and going with the combination therapy, just in case it works, but why do I think I am going to have the devil of all battles trying to get any help with this from the consultant?

    I can't even access a copy of the study without paying over $300 to the American publishers, and I want a copy of that so that I have something to show them when it comes to any discussion on the subject.

    So, has anyone got the combination therapy in place and, if so, how did you get it?

  2. #2
    Registered User winda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    My husband has been on Aricept/Memantine for about a year now. He was prescribed Aricept by the consultant but then having read the study you are talking about, I asked the consultant if we could have Memantine on private prescription. He happily agreed but said that my husband was the first of his patients to be on the dual therapy.

    I did notice a difference at first in his short-term memory but over time he also became aggressive and the consultant advised for him to stay on memantine as it helps with aggression. He is in hospital at the moment due to his aggression and some of his medication has been changed but they have kept him on Aricept/Memantine.

    I agree that it doesn't seem right to have to pay when Aricept is now so much cheaper than it was.

    I hope that helps.
    Life is what happens to you. While you're busy making other plans - John Lennon

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by winda View Post
    then having read the study you are talking about
    Thank you, and how did you find a copy of it? And how do you get a private prescription organised should it come to that?

  4. #4
    Registered User Canadian Joanne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    When my mother started memantine, she was also switched from donepizel (Aricept) to galantamine, as it was felt to be a better combination. It certainly helped my mother for the better part of a year, particularly in mood and behaviour. It worked for her. It may not work for everyone. That's the problem with dementia drugs, but it's the best we've got at this time.
    Former carer
    When you've seen one person with Alzheimer's, you've seen one person with Alzheimer's


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