Has anyone experienced Donepezil actually make things worse?

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by pittheath, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. pittheath

    pittheath Registered User

    Dec 30, 2013
    After a diagnosis of an 'Alzheiner's like process', My husband was given 5 mg of Donepezil back in June - for the first 4 weeks he was much more confused and agitated than he had been, and had trouble with his waterworks, although this settled a bit after another month or so. When we saw the consultant in October he doubled the dose to 10 mg. We didn't get the prescription until mid november, and within a week he was again confused, agitated and less himself. We have persisted, but in the last month he is definitely more confused; he can drop into a brief 'sleep', even when in conversation, passes water all night urgently and has just developed stiffness in his back and legs. We are both wondering if this is inspite of or because of the increased medication. See consultant in 4 weeks, but am going to check with GP meantime.

    Has anyone else encountered this or had dosage reduced or changed drug? Pittheath
  2. loveahug

    loveahug Registered User

    Nov 28, 2012
    Moved to Leicester
    Mum's consultant stopped hers when I phoned hiim and described exactly the symptoms you describe. I questioned what quality of life it would give her to be like this and have a longer life and the consultant just said 'fair comment' and agreed it should be stopped.

    If I were you I'd cross question the consultant's decision process in increasing the dosage if it's having this effect.

    Best wishes x
  3. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    I think you should certainly raise yoru concerns with the person who prescribed the medication.

    You don't mention any benefits so presumably there are none.

    Why continue to suffer nasty side-effects in that case?
  4. Shash7677

    Shash7677 Registered User


    It made my mums symptoms worse, after speaking to her consultant he made a house call and she was given Ebixa (memantine) this helped a bit but not a great deal.

    It's worth ringing the psychiatrist and having a conversation with them, mums GP wouldn't have had a clue what to do.

  5. Dikimiki

    Dikimiki Registered User

    Jun 26, 2012

    Aricept brought about violence, memantine caused hallucinations, risperidone turned her into a Zombie. --- my wife and her experiences of AD drugs. Worse than useless, if anything dangerous.
  6. pittheath

    pittheath Registered User

    Dec 30, 2013

    Thanks to all for your replies - it is so reassuring to know others have experienced this - have taken your advice - am waiting to speak to consultant and expecting 'ring back' from GP.

    Thanks P
  7. velo70

    velo70 Registered User

    Sep 20, 2012

    Much has been discussed in many previous pages on TP. My wife was prescribed, as is usual, with 5ml for some weeks then increased to 10 ml. She has been on the tablet for about 8 months or more. She certainly remains fairly stable, (most days) and does not seem to have suffered from side effects. The doctor who approved her use of the drug had to give his authority, as at the time they were not given widely and our own GP could give repeat prescription , but not authorise their use.(so we ere told). I understand that it is the only suitable drug for her diagnosed condition that is even remotely effective. If they have adverse effects on you partners behaviour, you must discuss with the clinician for your own peace of mind.
  8. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    My Mum started 2.5mg a few weeks before Christmas.
    I also found her to be more confused and memory even worse.
    I wondered if it was with all the change of routine. Granchildren on school holidays, my son having knee surgery, no Alzheimers activity Group to go to, Christmas itself etc

    After New Year she seemed to settle a bit.
    Last week the confusion set in again, but once again there was a lot happening at home.
    Last Friday her Donepezil has increased to 5mg. So once again keeping an eye on her.

    They will review it after a month. She is on 2 other medications which may interact with the Donepezil, so not on 10mg till reviewed.
    In my opinion the other 2 tablets that shes on are a quality of life and would rather she continues with them than the Donepezil if it came down to it.
  9. rechelle1984

    rechelle1984 Registered User

    Jan 26, 2014
    about donepezil?

    Hello everyone my name is rechelle and i have a mother in law that got diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia she was put on donepezil about 2 1/2 yrs ago and as i begin to explain this all started when she was put on it a week into giving it to her i noticed things getting worse such as being agitated confused losing loss of appetite getting violent and i got very worried so i called her doctor explained what was going on at first he said it takes time to get into her system. so i replied with ok so nothing to worry about then he said no so a few more weeks went by still getting worse again i called the doctor and he now said it can't be the donepezil as it is in her system. and that whatwas going on was her dementia so i said ok and then i asked him if maybe he can give her something to help with the violent. part he said ok so more months went by still seemed like it was getting worse now its losing are appetite and i really started to worry so again called the doctor and explained. he called me in some liquid stuff to give to her to help her eat it helped but not a whole lot but not to the very question I'm needing advice with my mother in law went to see her doctor november 2013 he looked her over and the only thing he said was she was alittle under nourished and took the donepezil away from her but he did give her a prescribition for pedasure and and he also said she is in her last stage of dementia and that's why he took the donepezil away but sence he took it away in november 2013 she went down hill so quick and now is in the hospital fighting for her life. plus she has a football size hole on her back and is 2 inches deep but her heart blood pressure and oxygen are so much better then when she was brought to the hospital I'm having a hard time getting any good advice from her doctor or the surgeon they want me to put her as a hospice patient and let her chose whether or not she wants to eat but they will keep her comfortable its like they just want me to give up on her. and I'm not ready to do that I'm wondering sence she was taking off the donepezil. and the condition she is in is it from taking her off Note she was eating while on it. then when she first started on it if anyone has any advice or recomendation or something it would be so grateful I'm sorry for the bible but i wanted to explain i want to thank you for taking the time to read my story. thank and god bless
  10. Dikimiki

    Dikimiki Registered User

    Jun 26, 2012

    Apparently, so we are told, different patients react differently to particular drugs. I have posted several times about Aricept. If you look up my previous posts you will get an idea of how this drug affected my wife. I can only speak for myself but we found it much worse than useless, indeed devastating. Best wishes and I hope you receive more helpful responses.
  11. Irishgirl57

    Irishgirl57 Registered User

    Jan 21, 2014
    Florida, USA
    I am the patient. It was hard for my system to get used to it. It took about four weeks. That and Amanda has stabilized my life. These conditions present themselves differently and everyone and so do the medication. It's all trial and error

    Lots of love and prayers you find the right combination to stabilize

    Grateful and blessed, Donna
  12. BTF

    BTF New member

    Jul 2, 2019
    My mother has just been diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer type.
    She was immediately prescribed Donepezil 5mg to take daily at night and has been on these for one week.
    She is actually worse..she has less memory, has become slightly aggressive / agitated and moved all the furniture around.
    I will be ringing the consultant today.
  13. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    I have been taking Aricept for almost 20 years ;) started taking them in November 1999 o_O:cool:have they worked hope so :):) well I’m still alert & active 20 years on good enough for me :D:D

    Attached Files:

  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hello @BTF and welcome to DTP.

    Although many people find Aricept (donepezil) helpful, it doesnt suit everyone and in some people it can indeed make them more aggressive and less able to do things. Contacting the consultant is the best thing to do.
  15. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    Welcome from me too @BTF

    Donepezil didn't suit my dad either. Oddly he was fine in the 5mg dose but as soon as it was increased to 10mg his behaviour became unmanageable. Luckily once the dose had been decreased he was fine again. It took a while for me to convince his consultant that the drug was the problem though.

    I hope you manage to get things sorted for your mum. Let us know how you get on.
  16. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    My mother was similar but after about 6 weeks the negative effects diminished and she seems to be pretty stable after 8 months on 5mg Donepezil daily. She believes it makes her better and seems reasonably content now.

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