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Can Aricept make things worse?

Callyann

Registered User
Nov 15, 2009
19
0
Nottinghamshire
My husband, 63, has been on Aricept for nearly 7 weeks, the last 3 on the 10mg dose. He's been progressively aggressive over the last couple of years with days in between okay. Now the temper is worse and he's now accused me of being the cause of his illness, says it's because I don't care and don't help him. He even said today he hadn't wanted children, only had them because I wanted them - it's just not true!!

He's also adamant that he's seen everything been everywhere, recognising everything and everyone, even when it's impossible he will argue even when I don't argue back. I'm finding it all so difficult at the moment. All I want to do is help him but it's like hitting a brick wall.

Could the Aricept be making things worse?
 

Vonny

Registered User
Feb 3, 2009
4,577
0
Telford
I've no personal experience of Aricept either positive or negative and hope someone may be along soon who can help.

However, it's not uncommon for different people to react differently to various medications so if it's a cause for concern, I'd get in touch with your husband's consultant again. It could be that an alternative to Aricept may be better for your husband.
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
0
Hi Callyann,

You said in an earlier post that there was some indication that your might have frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

The Alzheimer's Society factsheet indicates that some people with FTD might have an adverse reaction to drugs like Aricept:

Is treatment possible?
As yet, there is no cure for fronto-temporal dementia, and the progression of the condition cannot be slowed. Drugs that are designed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, such as Aricept (trade name for donepezil hydrochloride), Exelon (rivastigmine) and Reminyl (galantamine), may actually make symptoms worse and increase aggression.

from: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/factsheet/404

One drug that does seem to be used by a fair number of young onset individuals is Ebixa (Memantine). It is not currently recommended by NICE other than as part of a clinical trial, but if a consultant thinks that a patient might benefit from it, their clinical judgment is usually sufficient to justify its use.

Take care,
 

Mo_N

Registered User
Oct 29, 2009
1,007
0
70
South East Essex
Hi Callyann,

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's aggressive arguments.
My only experience of Aricept is observing my Mum & she has had no adverse reaction but she has a diagnosis of Alzheimers + Vascular.

I would definitely contact your husband's doctor or memory clinic & put your concerns to them. Mum was reviewed monthly whn she first started taking Aricept but I know that this is not the case in some other areas.

I hope things get easier for you soon.

Mo
x
 

NewKid

Registered User
Mar 26, 2009
367
0
Warwickshire
Memory drug removal - a slippery slope?

Interested to read that some memory drugs can increase aggression and actually just not benefit. My Mum is going to be phased off her Galantamine after about 3 years on a memory drug -this because her 'mini mental' score is now down to 8 :( The CPN (who was very good) assured me not to worry too much as sometimes its assumed it is helping, when it's just not, and can even make a person more confused and certainly make some aggressive.. Experiences of others?

I'm pretty confused myself by these contradictions. Could a drug be useful and then at another stage become detrimental? Once a memory drug is removed - what to expect? Are there are alternative stimulatants that can add to quality of life.. or is it all inevitably down hill?

PS: Does anyone know anything about Doxasosin - the CPN seemed to be warning me that I should question my Mum being on it.
 

Pots and Pans

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
19
0
Really interested in others experiences here. My OH responded amazingly well when first put on Donepezil and dose then increased without much difference. But situation was very confused as he had initially been diagnosed only with MCI made worse by a grief reaction ( death of son) and memory clinic checked and supported this early 2020 Then about a month after that he had a fall and hip fracture and came out of hospital a different person entirely with serious delirium eg thought we were in the war and being bombed by Nazis! Over 3 months of confusion later - and inability to learn to walk again - and really excellent consultant came and we began Donepezil last July After increasing dose, added Memantine which built up to full dose then was halved as his balance got worse. But miles better to the extent we stopped having carers. Had to have day and night for first few months then.jydt one live-in, then just someone for two days a week. All self- funded. Just us for last three months but currently deteriorating... continence issues, walking worse again, more confusion and having seen some other threads on meds am now wondering if they could be making things worse. Maybe cleared delirium to start with but now harming? Or am I in denial? Only see consultant every few months (last time on phone) so hard to discuss in detail then and no one else to talk about it with. Wondering if I should just reduce and see what happens...
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,061
0
I don’t think you will find anyone on this forum that would recommend you reduce the dose of the medication without medical advice.

Obviously things are very difficult at the moment with the pandemic, but I still think you need to get him checked over. It is very easy for them to get an infection or some other problem and sometimes you can’t always see it.

Hopefully others will come along with more experience in the medications he is taking at present. But I think you sound like you are doing a magnificent job, don’t be hesitant, get on the phone to the GP.!
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,673
0
Kent
Hello @Sue Stormy

It seems too many things have happened to your husband to hold a single issue responsible but it really would help if he could have a thorough new assessment.

The medication didn`t agree with my husband but that was from day one, with nothing else to take into consideration.

We keep getting reminders the NHS is still open to conditions other than COVID so I would try to press for a person to person consultation owing the big changes in your husband`s well being.

Please don`t tweak the medication without medical advice.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,643
0
South coast
Hello @Sue Stormy and welcome to DTP.
No, dont just stop donepezil. As weasell says, you need to reduce any medication under medical supervision.

I think the time-line is important here. You said you started the donepezil in July 2020. Is he still on the full dose? Any problems with donepezil will usually show up almost as soon as you go onto the full dose.
Delerium can take up to 6 months to improve and if I am reading things correctly, he would have been started on medication about 6 months after the hip fracture, so it would seem likely that any improvement in delirium would be minimal by that stage and the improvement is more likely (IMO) to be down to the medication.
The way that he improved so much having been started on donepezil and memantine makes it seem unlikely to me that the meds are to blame for any current deterioration, having been stable for that length of time after starting.

Did the deterioration come on suddenly, or is it a gradual decline? If it came on suddenly then an infection of some sort is highly likely. I would get him checked over (especially for a UTI), but if its been a gradual deterioration and the doctor cannot find any other cause then its almost certainly just progression of the dementia.
 

Pots and Pans

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
19
0
Thanks, everyone. Will stick with current doses then. Not sudden deterioration (know about UTIs as had 3 of them early in situation,) but last times bloods showed low kidney function so currently having that checked (waiting for scan,) so will probably talk to consultant when results in. Haven't actually seen GP himself at all... just a nurse from practice until we saw consultant in July. Then no one else. It just seems like such a massive change since before the hospital stay. Has anyone else found Donepezil causes incontinence for instance? Lower dose might be better so I will ask if so.
 

angelict

Registered User
Jan 16, 2020
153
0
Thanks, everyone. Will stick with current doses then. Not sudden deterioration (know about UTIs as had 3 of them early in situation,) but last times bloods showed low kidney function so currently having that checked (waiting for scan,) so will probably talk to consultant when results in. Haven't actually seen GP himself at all... just a nurse from practice until we saw consultant in July. Then no one else. It just seems like such a massive change since before the hospital stay. Has anyone else found Donepezil causes incontinence for instance? Lower dose might be better so I will ask if so.
Incontinence could be an adverse side effect utis can come on suddenly any change in behaviour I would be contacting the gp or out of hours 111.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
162
0
Thanks, everyone. Will stick with current doses then. Not sudden deterioration (know about UTIs as had 3 of them early in situation,) but last times bloods showed low kidney function so currently having that checked (waiting for scan,) so will probably talk to consultant when results in. Haven't actually seen GP himself at all... just a nurse from practice until we saw consultant in July. Then no one else. It just seems like such a massive change since before the hospital stay. Has anyone else found Donepezil causes incontinence for instance? Lower dose might be better so I will ask if so.
Mum peed gallons with Donepezil and had diarrhoea, it was terrible. I am quite sure it was more out than in, and at one hospital admission she was found to have low sodium, which I'm sure was because of it. We stopped it (for non dementia reasons) and I can honestly say it made no difference. Delirium was the dementia trigger for Mum, and I'm not at all surprise that it caused such a deterioration in your husband. Delirium breeds delirium - once you've had it, you are more likely to have it again.

It seems you have a good consultant, and are getting follow-up appointments - which is more than many of us have achieved!
 

Pots and Pans

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
19
0
Also know about not stopping anything rapidly. OH was in sertraline before the fall for anxiety following bereavement. Was going to be stopped as he was coming out of that tunnel but clearly we changed nothing at first. Told consultant we wanted to stop in September and then eased off over 6 weeks and no change as a result. One less pill. Hurrah.
(And no, don't think I am doing a good job... in tears almost every day at some point plus regular snappy exchanges eg when trying to work on mobility. Think I am grieving the husband I had and also all the future we now won't have. Not his fault I know but still hard to deal with, especially in such isolation. One good friend coming in to socialise (not to stay with) but otherwise see no one except when on daily walks.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
162
0
Yes, that sounds like my day too. Day after day, after day, after day.....
I fail dismally most days, and yet every day we get up and do the same again.
My daily dog walks are my only moment of sanity. God knows where I'd be without them.