This bit interested me " a year’s supply of donepezil can cost as little as £21.59", prior to reaching 60 my wife was paying £8.20 every 28 days for it, that's £106.60 a year, nice little earner for the NHS, you'd think given how little it costs it would be free.
I'll certainly use the cost factor info if the Memory Clinic GP ever wants to take OH off it. They haven't yet, even though he would score 0 on the MMSE if he could complete it. At the moment they say taking him off migh cause a downturn. Fact is, they just don't know enough about the effects of any Alzheimer's meds at present. No one does. So for £22 a year, they can just as well leave him on it.
Having read the report in the Daily Mail on Tuesday "6p-a-day drug saves dementia sufferers from going into a care home" I was interested to find out whether this drug might benefit my mother 88 who suffers with mild dementia. She does have some excellent carers calling in 4 times a day and she is able to remain safe in her home. The care home part of the article wasn't really relevant.
She does become very confused and disorientated at times and most of the time she does have memory issues. My start in researching the drug Donepezil lead me to the Alzheimer's Society "Talking Point" site.
I would like to find out whether there is any information that may help me to decide whether there might be a realistic chance of improvement with her dementia.
Would be grateful for your comments.
Donepezil, also known as Aricept is used for people who have the form of dementia called Alzheimer's. There are a few conditions that if already present will stop the use of donepezil. Have a chat with your Mum's Dctorvto see if it would be suitable for your Mother.
My husband was diagnosed at 62 with Alzheimer's and was given the drug. For 4 years he continued to work and drive. Whether he would have done the same without the medication we will never know but I like to think it did help him.
Yes, donepezil (aricept) can work very well. Unfortunately it only works in Alzheimers and not everyone can tolerate it as it can give you nausea and increase falls. It also doesnt work for everyone even if they have Alzheimers.
The main thing, though, is that it is not a cure for dementia - it will only slow the progression down. This does mean that people who are on it often have a better quality of life and may be stable for a while, but inevitably the disease will progress, so a lot of them do need to be in a care home at the end.
Most doctors are keen to try donepezil if it is suitable. Has your wife been to the memory clinic and do you know what sort of dementia she has?
Hi, my mum is on the full dose of aricept& this kept her on a level for 2 years, although she showed symptoms years before . This is the 3rd year of her being on it& she has declined somewhat.
Although she had a choking incident& was starved of oxygen which may have resulted in her decline.
I think this drug works well for a few years& slows the disease down, but I think once they go downhill, I no longer think it helps.
Such a cruel disease
This is all very true, but it's old news. When donepezil was introduced it was for medium stage Alzheimers only. Around the time OH was diagnosed, it became common to use it in early stages. Fortunately, OHs consultant firmly believed this was the way forward. Not all consultants did. Even I could see the stupidity of not giving a delaying drug to someone in early stages!
Not too long afterwards it was stated that donepezil was also of use in end stage as well. I can't remember exactly when, but we were still reading New Scientist, so I'm guessing at least 4 years ago. Sure enough, OH wasn't stopped from taking it until he was practically below the scale, 3 months before he died.
I think the thing is - not just one medication suits all (as in every medication). Donepezil didn't agree with my mum who was given it after first diagnosis. It made her blood pressure drop leaving her light headed and very unsteady on her feet and extremely anxious (this could have been also due to the death of my father).
She was changed to memantine and this suits her much better.
All of these drugs are to hopefully slow progression of this horrible disease - but the thing is - we don't really know if they are helping - but as far as I am concerned it is worth trying. Who knows how much quicker the disease would progress without it.