mum has been prescibed aricept

gillian69

Registered User
Sep 7, 2006
42
Cambridgeshire
Hi all,

My mum has just been diagnosed with aricept, my mum has just been diagnosed with mixed diementia, possibly alzeihmers. Although my mum and dad havent been told directly thats it is this disease.
Will we notice a difference at all and if so how soon?
Thanks

Gill
 

Áine

Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
994
sort of north east ish
Hi Gill

There's a fact sheet about aricept and similar medications here:

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/After_diagnosis/Treatments/info_drugs.htm

It seems people vary in what response they have to medication. From what I understood when dad was prescribed exelon (similar to aricept) they start people on a pretty low dose, because it can cause some unpleasant side effects at first (mainly nausea and tummy upset). Then when they've seen whether it's tolerated they build up to a proper therapeutic dose.

Hope it works well for your mum :)
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
Suffolk,England
Hi Gill

You asked about Aricept and whether you would notice any difference, so I just thought I'd give you my experience (with my Mum) for comparison. It won't be a direct comparison of course, because every person is different and then again some people don't actually see a doctor or get a diagnosis until they are at quite an advanced stage, so we are not all 'starting' from the same point anyway.

My mum is 87 years old, still early stage, able to be left on her own safely, so far, and reasonably sensible. She's been showing symptoms of short-term memory loss and mild confusion for about 3 or 4 years, some of which I put down (mistakenly, I now think) to grief and depression after the death of her sister. Those symptoms got markedly worse during the past 18 months, and she started losing things, hiding things ("putting them somewhere safe"!!) and then forgetting where she had put them. Good job she only has a 2-bedroomed bungalow to strip-search! I know most of her favourite places now. She never knows what day it is, however many times I answer the question, and frequently gets the month &/or year wrong too.

Mum was formally diagnosed at the end of May (MMSE score 21) and was prescribed 5mg Aricept per day at that time. Like your Mum, she has been told that she has "memory problems" without Alzheimer's or Dementia being mentioned by name. Because she has a medical history of a peptic ulcer, the consultant emphasised to me that she should take it after a meal, to avoid a stomach upset or nausea (which is a known side effect). With the exception of once when she hadn't been eating properly (when she was sick after she'd taken it) she's been fine with taking it. At first she took it after breakfast, but frequently commented on feeling 'woolly-headed, muzzy, can't wake up properly' during the day, so now she takes it after her evening meal, which seems to be better.

Her 2nd MMSE test, 10 weeks after the 1st one, was again scored at 21 & at the 3rd one on 2nd Oct. she scored 25! However, it was a different doctor and he gave her hints & helped her more; whilst I would LOVE to believe she had improved, I don't think she has.
Aricept slows down the deterioration, but you can't re-make those connections in the brain once they have broken down. However, I do think she's holding her own for now. My own opinion is that Aricept needs at least 2 months to get into the system.

Unfortunately she fell & broke her arm 4 weeks ago (Doh!! :mad: ) so that has thrown a whole new set of physical difficulties into the pot. Prior to her fall, she was reasonably fit (for 87) but now she has slowed down quite a lot, mainly with a new lack of confidence, and fear of falling again. Understandable, but ...

I hope this may be useful.

Regards