Follow
Share

My dad's doctor asked if we wanted to keep him on the medicines he is currently taking for his dementia & alzheimer's. Is this standard procedure? I was shocked and all I could say was, "well I guess so, unless something new has come out." I know there is no cure and that these medications are just to help slow the progression, but is this doctor asking if we want to speed up the process of this disease?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Yes, Jessiebell, that is what we did as we weaned my mom. We did half of one....no change ....then all of it....then half of the other...no change....then all of it ;-) I should have explained that.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I realize your dad has been on the medicine for a while. We don't know how he would have been if he hadn't taken it. You may work with the doctor to half the dose and see what happens. If there is no change, you could be more comfortable with discontinuing the medication. If there is a bad change, you could go back to the full dose. These things are reversible and can be done slowly.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

What the doctor asked was a very good question. No one knows better than the family about what is going on with the behavior of a patient. The doctor was showing you much respect. None of the drugs on the market at this time are terribly effective at symptom control. Aricept helps some people a bit in the earlier stages of Alz. Namenda helps some people a bit in the later stages. From what I understand is that most people experience no or only a small reduction in symptoms over what is seen with a placebo.

However, you see you dad every day, so you have a better idea if the medicine helps. If you don't think it is helping, it would be good to wean him off the medicine. It would be one less drug that his body and caregivers had to deal with. No point in keeping it up if it isn't helping.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

whatitis, the meds work well in the early stages to slow the progression of the disease. At the later stages they lose effect, so you are better off to wean the patient off of them. Why pay all that money for something that no longer works?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So if the symptoms have obviously worsened does that mean the medication is no longer working? Should we take him off of them and see how he does? I know there is no cure but shouldn't the doctor have more knowledge about these medications than me, television commercials, google and the internet?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Angel is totally correct. We chose to wean my mom off the meds starting mid stage 6. I have not notice any increase in her decline and they were not doing anything for her symptoms. We feel any unnecessary meds should be avoided
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yes it is common for a doctor to ask this question...as the class of medications for dementia/Alzheimers are different than other drugs. These drugs are not guaranteed to work at all for anyone. If you one of the lucky ones that they work for, the result would be a reduction in symptoms. It slows the worsening of symptoms, it does not slow the disease, it does not cure the disease. The disease is moving forward every second of every day. The medications can mask that progression, but its still happening. These drugs can also have massive side effects, including worsening of symptoms!

At some point, these drugs stop working for a patient. Taking them off this medication does not mean that the disease speeds up. The disease has never slowed...only the presentation of symptoms has been masked. Instead you are being asked would you like to stop these medications and therefore stop their side effects...or do you perceive that they are still beneficial. Only someone who knows and spends time at length with the patient could decide if they think the meds are still helping to mask the symptoms. If they aren't, its best to stop...so that you don't have to deal with the side effects.

Angel
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Could it be that the medicine had reached the max on what it could do? One would think that the doctor would explain why he would be recommending the removal of the meds.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.