johnnycares Asked May 2011

My wife has been on a memory drug for Alzheimer's for over two years, and I have yet to see an improvement. Has anyone had success with these drugs?

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My dear wife has been on Namenda 10 mg for over two years and I have yet to see an any improvement. Has anyone use this drug or others and have they seen any improvements? Any information would help me make some changes ,Thanks johnnycares

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jusmein2015 May 2015
My mom just started a low does tonight. I am praying it works! She's so confused, nervous and agitated. I was told no to expect any change for at least 2 weeks. My father doesn't know what to do and I have finally found a doctor that is trying to help her stating this is early onset. My mother could not even draw a clock. It's heartrenching for me. I have no brothers or sisters
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looloo Jul 2014
Jeannegibbs, I may do that at some point. My mother and I have a not great relatioship, and she doesn't discuss her medical matters with me (although I am in touch with her doctors). If she sees me checking her prescriptions, she considers it a violation of her privacy. I don't live with her, so I've been assuming that she's been taking her meds as directed, but it's very possible that she isn't. If she were having any adverse reactions, I would have mentioned it already.
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jeannegibbs Jul 2014
Looloo, I am a big proponent of trying drugs for the various symptoms of dementia. But when there is no evidence they are helping, why keep on them? I'd suggest to the doctor that you want to try discontinuing Aricept.
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looloo Jul 2014
My mother's dementia has yet to be categorized as Alzheimer's, frontal lobe, or any of the other types. Based on what I've read, observed, and known about her lifelong habits, I'm guessing it's either frontal lobe, vascular, or a combination. But it could be Alzheimers', who knows? Anyway, she was given Aricept late last year, and after 3 months, her dosage was doubled. I haven't seen any changes except that her memory and cognition have gotten much worse. If the drug has actually slowed progression, I guess she'd be even worse off now? Which I don't think would be tragic at all. She needs to be in AL or memory care, and she won't go. Maybe if she were worse off, she'd be in a safer place, getting better care.
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DebbieDeb Jul 2014
Hi
My mom has moderate to severe Alz. She has been living with me and my husband for 9 years and I have been her caregiver. I have been working full time until December when I got laid off. I have seen a downturn with my mom in the past few months. She is saying things like where is the game. She thinks she had a game on her lap and gets up and looks for it. Similar things have happened periodically. She gets anxiety attacks when there is too much stimulation. Then sometimes she is very lucid. She needs help with daily activities and her medications. She gets very upset when I try to help her with her medication because she doesn't understand what she is taking. She is visiting my sisters now and they are seeing first hand what my mom is going through. When she gets home I am going to have to take over her medication. She will get very angry. I am considering looking for a place for my mom to live where she will get the help she needs. It is getting beyond my abilities now. I would like some feedback if anyone know if the mood swings are pretty common with this stage of Alz. Thank Yoou
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johnnycares May 2011
Thank you and what you say does really make good advice for me and my dear wife. And I will always give everything a chance to see how it will work. Again thank you Vatefans.
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vstefans May 2011
It reallly is important to think about Lewy body vs vascular vs Alzheimer's because some meds that are typically good for one are bad for the other. BUT, even WITH a correct specific diagnosis, so you and the docs can pick the drug that has the best chance of helping, YMMV. My mom has vascular dementia and did terrible on Aricept (irritable with increased hallucinations) but was helped some with physical motor abilities though not mentally at all on Sinemet (even though one of her docs was more afraid of side effects on that.) We used both a geriatrician and a neurologist, both very good, using up to date, evidence based approaches, and it was still "experimenting" to a degree. I won't get into what happened with diabetes meds except to say ARRGH and gald we finally found something that helps a little besides just more and more insulin that left her ravenously hungry all the time. And if "just delaying progression" doesn't seem worthy, think about this - what would you give for Mom or Dad to have a couple more special days, a chance to see a grandkid graduate or get married, even a happy year or two before they can't remember events or recognize you...when you come right down to it, all any of us have are time and memories. It it almost always worth carefully trying some meds, but also esseitnal that you and the docs are willing to quit or change them if they don't help/don't work/cause side efects worse than the problem they are supposed to help with.
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pezkills May 2011
If it is aricept, it never claims to make things better, just to stop things from declining as rapidly. As a nurse I get this question often.
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My mother has been on Namenda 10mg 2xday and Aricept. When Aricept was added to her meds I noticed a leveling off, but no improvement. She has been on them for 2years now. But within the last couple months her symptoms have went into overdrive. These meds really just hold off the ineviable longer. The only con I have is... I noticed that since these meds slow progression it made her more aware that something was going on in her head. She would say that something was making her crazy inside. So, it might have been meds or maybe just the dementia. But I would continue to keep your wife on it.
Johnny, please keep on the doctors don't be afraid to demand help and answers. Ask lots of questions. If you feel your not getting results, take her to another doctor. Does your wife see a geriatric psych? I found that very useful with my mom. The Geriatric psych will help with depression, anxiety, and agitation she might experience. From my experience they understand how it all works more so than a regular dr. Also, a Neurologist will help with proper MRIs and CTS of the brain. I however, not yet found a good one in my area.
Try to play simple games or flash cards to stimulate her mind but stop if she gets upset cause she can't do it. My mom loves to color.
One last note to mention I was told by geriatric psych. that namenda can cause restlessness in some. If your wife is restless at night after taking Namenda try giving it to her at supper or at least 4hrs before bedtime. I noticed that helped a little with my mothers restlessness. So mom takes one in morning and one at supper.
I am sure your like the rest of us caregivers. You want to do everything in your power to make them better. Just hang in there and enjoy your wife, remember every moment that makes you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine for caregivers.
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johnnycares May 2011
No I did not think that it would, because when someone has had a stroke ,not much is expected. What I have a problem with is the lack of follow up from the doctor who has not been forthcoming on the testing and other tests. I just know that I am going to be grateful for the time that I will have with her from now on. Thank you,Althne
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