I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis but I’m glad you’ve found us. I know you will get lots of help and support here. There is an area of the forum where some people who have recently been diagnosed have posted. You might find it useful to have a look at that or even start your own thread there.
Time has passed by since my last post here. One week ago I was taken off Galantamine 16mg capsules following some very unpleasant side effects, severe bowel incontinence , dizzy spells and atrial fibrillation with angina. I have been advised the consultant want’s to try me on Donezepil?
Does anyone have any experience of this drug…….please advice and take care.
Donepezil (known as Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Reminyl) are used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Donepezil is also used to treat more severe Alzheimer's disease.
These medicines are all Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which mean that they prevent an enzyme from breaking down a substance called acetylcholine in the brain, which helps nerve cells communicate with each other.
Presumably your consultant thinks that although Donepezil works in a similar way to Galantamine that you may experience less problematic side effects with it in which case it may be worth giving Donepezil a try. If you still get bad side effects with Donepezil then you can of course come of this medication too. Before stopping a medication that has been prescribed for you, however, you should always speak to your GP for advice particularly as in some cases (and I believe that Donepezil is one of these) there should be a period of reduction before ceasing the medication completely.
There is another medicine, Memantine, which is given to people with moderate or severe Alzheimer’s. Memantine is suitable for those who cannot take or are unable to tolerate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It works by blocking the effects of an excessive amount of a chemical in the brain called glutamate. My Dad has recently started on Memantine as he couldn’t start on Donepezil because he has a low pulse. I am mentioning Memantine because it may be that if you also have problems taking Donepezil that Memantine might be suggested as a third option.
The web link below provides some further information about donepezil.