Mixing Meds

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Does anyone know the effects of mixing Aricept with Namenda? I know every patient is different, just wondering if anyone has experience with this. A doctor, in the same office as dad's primary care physician gave me a sample and said to start him on it. I am reluctant, until I talk to his primary, who knows more about his history. Nauseated


Not what does the propaganda say, or the advertisements, but personal experience: I think my Dad's doing much better now that he's off both. He's no longer angry and combative, but he has Advanced Stage, and by this stage, they say they're no longer effective anyway. Also they gave him Clexa (not sure how that's spelled) as an anti-depressant. He's a new creature, pleasant and smiling. But I'm not an expert, and perhaps the anger and combativeness was just as stage in the process. So that's my ten cents, but probably not worth a penny. :) To tell you the truth, I'm beginning to hate all meds. (Though I hear some are necessary and helpful.) Nevertheless, what a process!!! Remember, they are called "practicing" Physicians for a reason. It's all different for every patient/client/person. In my opinion, probably more of an art than a science. Hence, the term: "healing arts." Some day we'll be the guinea pigs. How's that for a thought?!
Well... It is different for every patient. I had mom on Aricept for 4 or 5 years? Then it did not seem to help anymore. Namenda was not yet on the market. We (the doc and I) then decided to try Exelon which has to be administered slowly over a period of time to full strength. (6 weeks) and that has helped. Citalopram (CeleXA EQ) is for Mood', Depression. and as Anne said it is amazing what a small dose of medicine does for the person that really needs it. But we did try Namenda when it did come out and it did not help.

When you find a good Doc who wants to help and has knowlege of your loved one's extended history - Stick with him. This stuff gets too complicated.

Thinking I was helpful, I entered mom in a NIH(National Institute of Health) Study for a medicine that would help Alzheimers. We took her off Aricept for 27 WEEKS! We lost a LOT of ground in that process. The medicine was Namenda, it was a double-blind study so you could not tell if you had placebo or the real thing. Didn't help.

BTW...If you are on any Alzheimer medicine please do not miss a day, or a dose.

When my mom went ballistic(anxiety) and this behavior began to manifest more frequently, say 6 times in two weeks. She began to beat on the windows while I was trying to drive-try to jump out of a moving car in city traffic. She would scream at the police, that I was kidnapping her and was out to kill her, beet red face. Thats when I took her to the emergency room and they gave her Risperidone (Risperdal EQ) for high anxiety. A very small dose that really helped.

She was on Zoloft which had an opposite effect which made her other conditions worse instead of calming her down.

Every time mom was in a nursing home, the doc who did most of his work by telephone, had a pet cocktail that he would try on the Alzheimer patients. It usually had her, and other patients practically comatose and drooling from the mouth.

I would recommend that you carefully replace one med with the other. Reducing one dosage and increasing the other over a couple weeks. Discuss this with your doc and work out a strategy you can agree upon. Now it may have a few hairy moments or not. It is best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If mom were not on any medication a few years ago, she would need a padded room, and have 'Rattlesnake Eyes'.

A funny story about meds. I had a habit of using two exact same salsa' bowls to hold and administer her meds and my vitamins. Well being in a hurry I walked into the kitchen grabbed a bowl and downed the contents. Looking down I noticed to my dismay that I had swallowed her meds. I called poison control and asked them if I needed to go to the emergency room to get my stomach pumped. The lady said " its ok, you may get nausious or a little sick, just to be on the safe side you may want to stay at home today" Well , I did stay at home and vomited untill I was dry heaving for a hour or so. Needless to say - I haven't done that again!

I hope this helps. Jerome.
Anne and Jerome, thank you so much for responding to my complicated question. I think I will stick with what my gut tells me. The Aricept seemed to help, believe it or not. I think I will stick with that for now. He is not as nasty or mean, but still does get stubborn, no pill for that I'm sure. Hey Anne, I'm not real keen on the guinea pig idea LOL. God, please do not let this happen to me.

Jerome, you poor dear with the meds. I too, have to take a med, which is exactly the same size, shape and color as Dad's, and have been so tired I almost took his. That is scary, so now I changed my own schedule for taking the med, so this does not happen. Jerome, I love your sense of humor also.
See, Naus, who cares what the other says! Don't get too carried away with the humor, though, little guinea. haha

Seriously, my Mom is on a whole lot of meds for a variety of reasons. Thing is, she complains the headache ones don't help, the back pain ones don't either. From my observation, the Restless Legs ones make her move faster, and she's just getting started on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant ones. On top of that, she's got an inhaler for Emphysema and COPD. The oxygen does help for that, though. I am concerned about the narcotic pain [non] relievers she's on, and wonder why they keep prescribing. Mom is not open to help with dispensing, so I'm wondering why her Physician allows Tylenol #4 on top of #3, and an ER Physician prescribed Valium on top of those. She's on Fiorniol for headaches, etc. etc. etc... I hope this all changes, soon.

I didn't tell you all yet: Mom is moving from 200 miles away to an apartment just 1 mile from my house. That means, new Doctors, and closer monitoring by her closest family member, daughter, Guardian and Conservator (that's me). I am praying we find the right Geriatric Specialist for Mom who can meet her needs, and address my concerns. Also, we are prayerfully considering whether or not Mom will be starting Chemotherapy, or just enjoying the Lake by her new home. Mom is excited to be seeing her husband, who's in the Alzheimer's wing nearby. She hasn't seen him since Christmas. His meds have been adjusted, and he's much happier and content, so we're praying this is a good decision for both of them. Mom is already talking about having her lunches with him (and breakfasts and suppers, too, if possible). In fact, I envision the day they share the same room there. Anyway...you're the first to hear the news, here. Isn't that exciting???

I am looking forward to being able to monitor her meds better than from a distance. And I am looking forward to not having to make a 400 mile plus round trip journey each time Mom has a crisis. Any tips on talking to the Doctors about her medications? Thanks, all. And blessings on your situations, Naus and Jerome.
Anne, I don't know about you, but I'm thinking your Mom is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over-medicated. The side affects on some meds sound worse than some of the diseases.
Good news on the apartment, what a relief for you. Since you are her guardian, you will have the say so on her med consumption.
How do I have a say??? I just want some influence. And, she's been a medication "user" for 50+ years, in addition to alcohol. Think she's off the alcohol, now, but much of the damage has been done. Since my Dad's Physician will be hers, and she's done such a wonderful job of caring for my declining father, I'm praying we can work towards a healthy resolution to Mom's medication use. I am excited that she will be closer, and the probability of change.

I'm also eager to learn more about Chemotherapy and alternative treatments for Mom. I'm receiving mixed feedback and warning about it. Scary stuff!
Sorry I have been away earning some dough. Anne I am excited you are not having to make a 200 mile trip every time you see your mom. I agree with naus that there is too much meds. The doc and I agreed the less is more approach worked for us. Just find the Physician you and your gut can agree on and start there.
Thank you, Jerome, (and Naus, [again]). Mom will be moving here by us in about 3 days. I already have a doctor appointment for her, and have services in place. We are praying the end of her life will be better than the last 50 years on "too many meds." My husband jokingly calls it, "better living through chemistry," although medication overuse is not a positive. In fact, too many meds can create problems. We sure would appreciate your prayers in the days ahead. And thanks for your support, from The Feisty Firstborn, aka Anne

PS Jerome, congrats on earning some money. Hope all else is well. Take care.
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Anne, I hope you find the right geriatrician, too. That can make such a difference. There aren't enough of them (they don't get paid for procedures, so they don't make as much as surgeons, etc.). We need more geriatricians, and they should be well compensated. The geriatrician would look closely at the meds. Some medications (many?) have headaches as a side effect - yes, even some that are made to help headaches! Medications can be lifesaving, life enhancing - or a total circus. Wishing you well with this move and all you are coping with.
Thank you much, Carol. My sister Googled the various meds Mom is taking, and found the same thing you talk about: headaches as side effects. Thank you for reminding me, because I made her 1st appointment already, and will bring that up with her Doctor.

Just a note, in case you haven't read it elsewhere already: My next door neighbors' Adult Foster Care home burned down last night. Thank God that 8 people and the family dogs survived. My Mom almost moved there! The Caregiver of 6 told me, "O no, their meds were in that house!" But that's an easy fix. They lost everything. I sad for my friends. Please keep them in your prayers. Remember to be thankful for the good things God gave you today.

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