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My mother is 96 years old and has lived with Alzheimer's disease for seven years. Her illness has now entered the Advanced stage. Throughout her journey she has taken Namenda and Aricept which are supposed to provide symptomatic relief albeit temporarily. How do I know whether these drugs continue to provide any benefit and whether she should continue to take them? The drugs may be doing little or nothing for her at this point. But, on the other hand, I fear that she could decline more rapidly if the drugs are removed. Does anyone have thoughts on this matter or experience with patients who came off these drugs after long term use?

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This is a difficult question, since we don't know how effective these drugs are, particularly in the later stages. If her doctor and you feel there is no benefit to continuing the medications, I agree that it may be time to discontinue them. I believe that Aricept is for earlier stages of Alz, while Namenda may be effective at later stages. Talk to her doctor to see what he/she thinks.
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You need to have this discussion with her doctor. Perhaps palliative care is appropriate. What does your mother's living will state related to this? Do you have POA?
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