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My mom tells me everyday that she doesn't have dementia and tries to hide her medication from me so she doesn't have to take. The meds don't work when she does take them. What am I doing? She never going to get better and namenda will only prolong the inevitable. Why am I putting more $$ in the drug companies pocket?

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There is no cure for dementia. Drugs can address the symptoms, and if they are effective they can improve quality of life. I don't know if they slow anything down, but they can make the present more bearable. Dementia drugs are not a one-size-fits-all remedy. A drug that works well for most people can do nothing for some people and may even make things worse for someone else. Prescribing for someone with dementia is challenging. And then is the patient doesn't take the meds as directed it is very difficult to determine if they would work if taken correctly.

If meds aren't working, there is no reason to continue with them. But to make that decision you should learn what the drug is intended to do -- how can you tell if it is working? -- and how long it may take before the benefits will be seen (does it have to build up in the body), and be sure it is being taken as directed.

My husband developed dementia in 2003. His dementia specialist has prescribed several meds, one-by-one, never starting a new one until the previous one was well established. He started on a low dose and increased it gradually. We know that none of these drugs is going to prevent the dementia from taking over. We know they are not a cure. But they have made the last nine years far, far better for both of us than what our experience would have been without them (based on what our life was like before each symptom was treated).

Namenda, or any other drug, does not "prolong the inevitable." The inevitable is going to happen no matter what, and it is going to happen on its own timetable. The question is, does it help your mom right now? If she takes it consistently as directed, is her life better in any way? If so, it is probably worth the cost. If not, then discuss with the doctor discontinuing it. Perhaps a different drug could be tried.

Good luck.
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