Side effects of Aricept

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Megan le Fey

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Jun 24, 2009
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Mid-Wales
Has anyone found episodes of aggression to be a side effect of Aricept? Frank has been taking 10mg daily for the past three years. Towards the end of that time he has displayed aggressive behavior, to differing degrees, three or four times. That was whilst we were still living in France but a couple of months ago we returned to the UK and almost immediately he became very hostile and verbally aggressive towards me and a few times, physically aggressive. He was almost constantly in a black mood and his anger was always directed at me as, "the most disgusting woman I have ever known".
The upshot was that Pericayazine was prescribed and it was suggested that the Aricept was withdrawn. This was about 2 weeks ago and the change has been remarkable - he is happy, cheerful and easy to get along with but unfortunately he seems also to be rapidly losing the few skills which had remained to him. I spoke to the CPN and we agreed to try the Aricept again, starting at 5mg and I gave him the first one this morning. He had a brief black mood this afternoon - or so it seemed - perhaps I was looking for it and mis-interpreted it. I fear that I may have to choose between a more rapid deterioration or a more tranquil life.
 

Meercat

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Aug 13, 2010
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sorry I've made mistake and posted what was meant to be new thread on your thread


now i can't delete this

sorry
 
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sistermillicent

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Jan 30, 2009
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Hello Anne, how is it going back in the UK, I wonder if you are glad you made the move.
I well remember your posts earlier this year and in one of them you wondered if Frank's violence had been your fault, which I am certain it wasn't.
I don't know about the side effects of aricept, but I do know about the effects of dementia illnesses, and one of those is that anyone can become aggressive and violent. The other thing I know well is how unpredictable this is.

We finally decided as a family that mum's violence and agression, which was verbal and physical, was not something we had any control over whatsoever, and she is now taking antipsychotics and tranquillisers, which make her sleep more, 12 hours a night, and she is a bit dopey after lunch and breakfast, but it makes things so very much easier.

The only thing that could have made mum's behaviour in any way "our fault" was that occasionally we would try to put her right when she was trying to go home to her parents, find her brother and sister, or get out to get on her bicycle (none are in existence any longer). Telling her the truth almost always ended in her hitting us, so we stopped that and used delaying or vague answers. However, she continued to be violent at other times with no provocation whatsoever, i saw her walk into rooms and just punch my dad with no reason at all, and many other things like that.

So my opinion would be that this may well not be the aricept because dementia is just like that. Someone may be along later who does know. I am amazed that you have not had loads of replies to this as it is a dilemma many face.

with love pippa
 

small

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Jul 6, 2010
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harrow
Hi Anne

Oh dear I was looking forward to the day when the Psychiatrist would prescribe Aricept [ no clear diagnosis for my husband yet].

My husband's aggression anger and suspicion are wearing me out. Every activity has to be discussed and risk assessed! it takes so long to do anything and planning for Christmas- well you might just as well forget it. I don't know how I'm going to retain any Christmas goodwill and cheer let alone the energy to actually do anything so peripheral as write cards!!!

Sorry this just my moan and no help to you except to say I think the behaviour stems from the disease and not aricept.

I wish you fond love and support and a Merry Christmas.


Jackie
 

Nebiroth

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Aug 20, 2006
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Side-effects usually make themselves apparent fairly quickly. It's unlikely to be a side-effect if it's appearing three years after first starting Aricept. I think it is more likely to be a progression of the dementia. Sadly sometimes this means that agression and even violent behavior can manifest themselves, either because of personality changes, loss of inhibitions or as a consequence of frustration. Often, a mix of these things. It is very common for such behavior to be directed at loved ones or carers.

Aricept may make things worse ironically because it may lessen the confusion to a degree. It acts sort of like a stimulant. So, not really a side effect, but more an unwanted consequence of the drug acting as it is supposed to.

Aricept's beneficial effects are normally short term and they only at best slow the progression of the symptoms. The disease itself continues unchecked.

From my own experience, I would have opted for the more confused but tranquil life. Agression and violence have a way of progressing and getting worse - in extremes they can lead to involuntary admission to hospital under Section. Not always, but sometimes.

Occasionaly, Ebixa may be suggested because it seems to not only help with the dementia but also to tone down agressive behavior.
 

RN131

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Sep 25, 2010
5
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Cyprus
Ariceft side effects

Initially, Roberto seemed to tolerate 5 mg dose Aricept quite well. After one month this was increased to 10mg. Shortly that, he began to have diarrhea of varying acuteness
Stopped Ariceft twice for 4 days. Litle change.
He is now back on 5 mg dosage and diarrhea has stopped..

BUT has no appetite and is eating virtualy nothing...

Is the diarrhea symptomatic of Aricept? Will the reduced be maarkedly less effective in arresting his vascular dementia? He was diagnosed
2 months ago.
 
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miss cool

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Jul 20, 2010
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taunton
Hi Anna, yes i belive arecept dose make you angry and agresive this is one of the side effects i took them 2 or 3 years ago i was very angry on them , take them away and i am ok. i think aricept is good if ther are no side effects. they still have a long wat to go with the medection. hope this helps....

love miss cool.xxxxxxx
 

RosmaryW

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Jul 12, 2010
85
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Cornwall UK
Hi Anne. After my Mum's last assessment (she dropped 4 more points) the CPN withdrew the Aricept 10mg, she doesn't take anything now I hate to say this but she is as aggresive, bad tempered moody and horrible to us as she has ever been. Her days are spent between "dear little old lady" (very rare) and "sullen teenager". Nothing we do is ever right, she is always right and cannot possibly be wrong. I am certain after reading hours and hours worth of threads on this site that we can safely say that this is the effects of the Alzheimers not the Aricept. She has had 3 major tantrums since she has been living with us in 12 months,there is no reasoning so It's best just to walk away, take a breather, and usually after half an hour she is onto the next episode of Miss Marple and all is forgotten.
It's horrible being called every name under the sun when all you are doing is caring for them, but that's what It's about isn't it, I know if Mum was O.K she would never forgive herself for how she was treating me, but I love her and just try to get on with it, but Oh Isn't it hard. I send you my very best wishes. Rose.
 

Jancis

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Jun 30, 2010
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Hampshire
Hi Anne,
I just read your post and glad you are posting again, I had been wondering about your epic journey driving from France to Wales. Sorry to hear though, that you are writing with more concerns about Frank's aggressive behaviour. Wish I could offer some advice.
Take care,
Jancisx
 

miss cool

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Jul 20, 2010
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taunton
Sorry Rosemary but i strongly dissagre with its nothing to do with the arecept, i am liveing proof... miss cool.xxxxxx
 

Nebiroth

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Aug 20, 2006
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virtualy nothing...

Is the diarrhea symptomatic of Aricept? Will the reduced be maarkedly less effective in arresting his vascular dementia? He was diagnosed
2 months ago.

Yes, diarrhea is one of the most common side-effects, along with nausea and vomitting.

It will usually subside as the body becomes accustomed to the drug.

These drugs are usually started on a lower dose to see how well they are tolerated, also the lower dose has less risk of side-effects and if they do occur they should be less severe.

After a time a tolerance should build up, at which point they will switch to a higher dose.

This process is called titration.

Some patients never build up a tolerance, or are unusually senstive. In that case they may stay permanently on the lower dose or a different drug may be tried.

Aricept is, in the UK, only licensed for prescription with Alzheimer's. It is commonly used for other forms of dementia in other countries.

It does not treat the illness, it only helps to slow down the progression of the symptoms. At best, a temporary minor improvement may be achieved. The effects vary from patient to patient, some people are actually made worse (though this is rare).
 

Megan le Fey

Registered User
Jun 24, 2009
17
0
Mid-Wales
Hi Everyone and thanks for the input. I am afraid that I am still a little unsure of whether to continue with the Aricept or not although I am tending towards stopping it again. The CPN said pretty much the same as Nebiroth has said - that the Aricept acts somewhat like a stimulant and can provoke aggressive behaviour in some patients. I had hoped that the Pericayazine would deal with the aggression but as he started taking it just a couple of days before stopping the Aricept, I could't be sure if his almost immediate "good behaviour" was the result of one, the other or both changes in medication. Certainly since I re-started the Aricept at 5mg two days ago, whilst he has not been aggressive he has been very sullen for a couple hours at a time.
Incidentally, Frank has been on Ebixa for the past couple of years.

Hi Jancis, yes the epic journey went OK but I think that Frank was disappointed with the result. His father was Welsh, brought up in Wales and although Frank was raised in Gosport he has somehow applied his father's stories of growing up in Wales to himself and confused it with his own youth. Now that he is here, he doesn't recognise anywhere and sometimes doesn't even believe that he is back in the UK. Like Pippa's mum, Frank constantly asks(sometimes demands) to be taken back "home", which is now Gosport and when I have tried to explain that there is nobody he knows left there, he gets angry. I suppose that it is hard to believe that almost everyone had gone.
 

susanne1964

Registered User
Mar 1, 2010
291
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hertfordshire
Hi Anne,

My dad has been on Aricept for a good few months now. His personality is not aggressive in any way shape or form. He is calm, grateful, mild mannered and I must admit very tolerant. In saying this. He is sleeping in the day for at least four days out of seven so have booked him a doctors appointment to have blood tests etc.

Past history is that my dad was a mean nasty man who I hated for many a year. Maybe it changes the personality from nice to nasty or nasty to nice!!!!

I can only say that Aricept has given dad and myself a easier ride the past six months.

Personally, if he had not been taking it for the last six months I would of bailed out.

take care

Sue
x
 

scared daughter

Account Closed
May 3, 2010
587
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This is very interesting, I haddn't made this connection, my mum was put on aricept on diagnosis, and has become increasingly violent towards us.....

The thing is is it wortht his as the medical team looking after her thinkt he aricept has slwoed the disease as best it can
 

trakand01

Registered User
Oct 27, 2010
113
0
My Nan is on Aricept, started 5mg, up to 10 after a while and she is also aggressive and violent, however the doctor last week diagnosed her as being Psychotic, rather than it being any side effect from the drugs she's taking.

Whether or not this Psychosis is a part of the Alzheimers/Vascular Dementia, or whether she would have developed it anyways, we can only guess.

Mum describes the illness as having made Nannan 'like she's always been, but worse.', meaning that Nannan has always (although it sounds horrible to say) been quick to anger with a viscious temper (although never physically agressive before) and 'difficult'. These things are not new since she aged or since her diagnosis with Alzheimers/VaD.

I guess it could be a combination of everything but I think it's probably not possible to apply the same reasoning to everyone; Miss Cool says she definitely felt more angry when on Aricept, whereas other posters say that there are no signs that their relative's aggression is down to Aricept.

I'm inclined to believe that Nannan would be like this anyway, even if she didnt have dementia. I suspect that she has been clinically 'paranoid' for decades (a trait that i see in myself at times although i've done a good job of training it out of myself) but the physical aggression is another step - perhaps the illness has removed her awareness, or intensified her psychosis?

Whatever you choose, I hope that all goes well for you and that you and Frank get some rest from the aggression one way or another :eek:
 

Megan le Fey

Registered User
Jun 24, 2009
17
0
Mid-Wales
Well, I will of course, speak to the CPN tomorrow but I have decided that assuming she agrees, I will stop the Aricept. It was at my request that we re-started it six days ago. I was to give him 5mg a day for 5 days and then go on to 10mg and see how he went. During the first 5 days he was fairly cheerful and aimable with a few sulky periods but no aggression. This morning I gave him the first 10mg pill and he was fine until about 4pm but then he went very quickly into a black mood. He took his 6pm batch of pills, 9 of them, mostly Warfarin, but he took them with anger and defiance, chewing them because I reminded him not to. By 6.30 he was in a full blown rage, ranting at me at how disgusting I was etc.etc. I couldn't jolly him out of it and he stormed off to bed, got in fully dressed, shoes and all. I persuaded him to undress and get into him pyjamas about half an hour ago but only after promising that I would let him leave tomorrow morning to go "home". Now, if I don't want him to c*** in the bed, I have to try to persuade him to go to the toilet.:eek:
 

miss cool

Registered User
Jul 20, 2010
619
0
taunton
For god sake in heavon will enyone listen the side effects of all the druges for this illness can be hurrenduse . If they work that is fine . But agretion is so powerfull with in and just cames out , couse aricept , also the side effects of the other drugs are equlie as bad . I now we revert to child like but the couse can be the drugs . As well as the illness . But if no one wonts to listen so be it...........

Love miss cool.xxxxxxxx



and i am still being cool.......
 

Padraig

Registered User
Dec 10, 2009
1,038
0
Hereford
No magic bullet

When a loved one is suffering from this awful disease we want to believe there's a magic bullet to solve problems. A sad fact of life is that everything is two sided. Nothing is perfect and that includes medication. From personal experience with caring for my wife she was never offered Aricep or any other drug to 'treat' Alzheimer's. Oh yes, while she was in hospital and a NH they treated her with plenty of drugs as a result of illnesses due to underlying causes.
When I removed her from a NH to care for her on my own at home, I received a paper bag full of medications from the 'Home'. I passed them over to our GP, saying I'd no intention of using them.
The average duration of Alzheimer's appears to be about 12-13 years. That was about the length of time my wife had it, from age 60-61 to age 73. I can only hope that I provided her with the best quality of life up to the end without the use of medication. Sometimes doctors prescribe pills to 'cure' a condition and it 'works'. Problem is it's nothing more than 'sugar pill!
 

Black bird

New member
Oct 14, 2017
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Ariceft side effects

Initially, Roberto seemed to tolerate 5 mg dose Aricept quite well. After one month this was increased to 10mg. Shortly that, he began to have diarrhea of varying acuteness
Stopped Ariceft twice for 4 days. Litle change.
He is now back on 5 mg dosage and diarrhea has stopped..

BUT has no appetite and is eating virtualy nothing...

Is the diarrhea symptomatic of Aricept? Will the reduced be maarkedly less effective in arresting his vascular dementia? He was diagnosed
2 months ago.[/QUO
 
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