Aricept - Reassessment, not so NICE.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Charlie, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Charlie

    Charlie Registered User

    Apr 1, 2003
    Hi All,

    My mum (the main carer for my dad) had a call from the hospital asking if dad could be reassessed recently. She agreed, but did ask whether this had anything to do with the recent news about NICE withdrawing aricept. She was assured that it was a just a routine test.

    They assessed dad in the day care centre which he attends mon-friday now. Next came a distressing call. The nurse that assessed dad says that he is much worse and they want to withdraw his daily dose of aricept immediately. Mum is very upset obviously, as she feels tricked.

    My first question:

    It may be a coincidence, but I did wonder if anyone else has been asked for a recent 'out of the blue' reassessment?

    My second question:

    Is there any 'proven' research that aricept at some point stops working or is this pure hypothesis. Dad's decline has been relatively slow and we think that aricept may have had something to do with this. It's not just a case of clutching at straws or feeling that we are 'giving up on him'. If the consultant’s recommendation is based on fact, no problem - if it is not based on thorough research, we are very worried about just stopping the drugs all together. Mum also asked whether they'd put dad straight back on aricept if there was an immediate decline - there was a long silence and she was told that they'd need to reassess the situation.

  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Charlie

    how annoying.

    I'd guess it is a money issue and no coincidence. Even though as was said on the BBC's Breakfast programme yesterday, the amount spent on dementia medications is already less than that spent on Viagra.

    Of course there are many politically correct, but entirely non-urgent, treatments that the NHS MUST provide [and I'm not meaning the Viagra thing in this context, necessarily], and these must take priority. Ha! :mad:

    It will be interesting to see how many similar cases there are to your Dad's.

    So sorry to hear this.
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Dear Charlie, fact sheet 407 contains info on Aricept. Your Mum may find this useful. So sorry to hear of your Dads problems now being worse, love to you all, She. XX
  4. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    I do not believe there is any scientific evidence how long Aricept works for.
    Some say 2 years?
    But in our case 7 years and our consultant is still (was last time) Happy.
    Youn case sounds iffy to me
  5. emscub

    emscub Registered User

    Dec 5, 2003

    Last summer I worked in an assessment clinic for people taking AD medications such as Aricept. Basically, I think the main criteria that are applied (or should be applied) are whether the person is still benefiting from the drugs.

    In order to assess this they carry out cognitive assessments, and usually speak to the carers. I believe that once a person falls below a certain cognitive level then they are likely to have the medication withdrawn.

    Obviously in some cases, money may also come into it, but at the time I was working in the clinic this didn't seem an issue (unless it was for a new prescription which sometimes caused problems).

    Hope this helps.
  6. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    I am confused,who prescribed Aricept for Dad?
    If it was the consultant has a nurse any authority to withdraw the Aricept tablets?
    Should that not be the decision of the consultant?
    Norman :confused:
  7. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    ]Hello Charlie

    Sorry I haven't been posting this last few days but my computer has been on the blink.

    The memory monitoring system is in place to judge the effectiveness of medication such as Aricept.

    As I understand it the nurse conducts the assessment. and if the result falls to 12 or below she then is supposed to confer with the consultant and the carer about withdrawing the medication.

    Margaret was down to 14 on her last assessment and I am fully expecting her to be below 12 on the next one (which is due anytime now.)

    But I don't think the nurse should be making arbitrary decisions herself, I would certainly question it.

  8. Doreen

    Doreen Registered User

    Dec 3, 2004
    Hi Charlie,

    My husband scored only 6 at his last memory test, even though the Consultant thought the Aricept was not working any longer he carried on prescribing until it had the effect of making my husband more aggressive, so much so he was takn into an assessment ward (where he still is) the Aricept was slowing stopped going down to 5mg and then none at all, that was 5 weeks ago and my husband has deteriated rapidly, so much so that I have now to find a care home for him, he is still aggressive but has peaceful times inbetween. Unfortunately, he now has a urine infection and is shouting even more, but I think this is because he is frightened, I know I am he looks so ill.

  9. Charlie

    Charlie Registered User

    Apr 1, 2003
    #9 Charlie, Apr 7, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2005
    Thanks for all your support and information. Unfortunately while I was away on holiday the nurse (who carried out the test) spoke to the consultant and they decided to withdraw the aricept - my mum had little choice in the mater. I understand that dads results were low, just wish they'd gone a different way about it. We are also concerned that the NICE review on dementia drugs will make it almost impossible to re-prescribe aricept if there is a sudden decline after the withdrawal. We will just have to wait and see.


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