Alzheimer's sufferers have access to an additional treatment option, due to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a higher dosage of Exelon patch—a commonly prescribed drug for people with mild to moderate forms of the disease.
The approval followed on the heels of study results that indicated receiving the increased Exelon dose (13.3 mg/24 hours) allowed Alzheimer's suffers to experience sustained improvements in their ability to perform instrumental activities of daily life (taking medications, performing housework, managing money, etc.) even if they no longer respond to previous maximum dosage of 9.5 mg/24 hours.
The study showed that the upped dosage had a temporarily positive effect on the cognition of some Alzheimer's sufferers, but the improvement only lasted until approximately halfway through the trial (24 weeks).
Raising the dosage did not appear to have any effect on the type or severity of side effects typically seen in people using the Exelon patch.
No drug is currently capable of preventing, curing, or halting Alzheimer's. Exelon doesn't work for every person suffering from the disease, but the approval of an additional dosage does provide doctors with an extra therapy option that could prove beneficial for some seniors.