Should my 92 year old dad take these tablets?


New member
Jul 9, 2024
My dad (92) has recently been diagnosed with dementia. Brain scan and other physical tests were normal, but his cognitive test score was low (56). The doctor has suggested that he could take Rivastigmine, Donepezil or Galantamine. She left us with leaflets and asked us to research and come back with a decision as to whether he would like to try one of these.

The side effects look unpleasant and have scared my dad. He is becoming very anxious and fearful of taking them. Having done research on the internet there seems to be quite a mixed picture of the pros and cons.

Does anyone have any experience of these drugs, their benefits and/or side effects, that might help us make a more informed choice.
Many thanks.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
Welcome to the forum @Jezhw.

I’m sorry to hear about your dad’s diagnosis and that he’s worried about taking any of the medications.

Everyone reacts differently to drugs so it’s hard to say how things might be if your dad were to take any of them. My husband was on on Donepezil for around 10 years then it was decided to move him on to Rivastigmine. He didn’t suffer any side effects whilst taking them. I can’t prove that the donepezil made a difference but I like to think it slowed down the progress of dementia -but who’s to say? The progress may have been the same without taking the drugs.

Sorry that’s not of much help. I wondered if you’d be interested in this -



Registered User
Oct 23, 2023
Hello 💗

Dad takes donepezil on the lowest dose. Not noticed any side effects at all and like Izzy says I don't know if it has made any difference I guess we will never know the answer there and we decided against a higher dose due to other his other health conditions.


Registered User
Mar 27, 2023
My mum who has Alzheimer’s was put on Donepezil and it did not suit her. it made her more anxious, confused and argumentative. She has done well on Memantine. However, the husband of my mum’s friend was on Donepezal and his symptoms improved significantly and he had a good quality of life for several years. Unfortunately, I think it will be a case of try one and see what happens. He can always switch if the first one causes too many side effects.

I too was given leaflets to choose a drug when she was taken off Donepezal, and I found it quite a tricky decision to make when reading the side effects.

Take care and good luck x


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
Donepezil previously called Aricept, my wife with early onset was prescribed it when it cost the NHS serious money as a trial, no answer as as I don't have a clone of her.
A widely prescribed antibiotic nearly killed on of our children, severe allergic reaction, there is no one size fits all with medication.
Given you say he's 92 years old and has had side effects, I wonder. K