How long can Alzheimer's patients benefit from taking Aricept and Namenda?

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My 97-year old mother has been taking Aricept (10 mg. once daily) and original Namenda (10 mg. twice daily) in generic form for about eight years. She is now in the advanced stage of Alzheimer's Disease. Can I safely discontinue one or both of these drugs at this point. My understanding is that the symptomatic relief they provide does not last long. I have continued dispensing these drugs for fear that mom might decline more rapidly without them and because they are covered by her Medicare Part D Drug Plan. On the other hand, less medication is always better than more. I welcome all comments on this subject.

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Mom takes memantine (Namenda generic) and donepezil. Doctor says it will not improve her memory or cognitive ability but could keep it from declining as quickly. She has taken these meds for about 3 years now and there is still decline but who knows if it would have been worse without the meds. Some days are better than others. The aphasia is the worst part along with a huge decline in memory.
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Reply to texasrdr22
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i feel i am losing my husband a little more each day. i still give him aricept and namenda. any little help is worth it. why can't these researchers find a cure. i feel sometimes that there is a cure. but the pharmaceutical company do not want to give the medication because they would loose millions of dollars. what a shame
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Reply to frustratedfaye
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At 97 I would contact her doctor and ask if you need to titrate the meds down and then discontinue them. Studies and research don’t support any benefit for people after a certain time if no improvement in symptoms are noted. I wouldn’t give any medication that doesn’t appear to improve symptoms. 
Good luck!
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Reply to Shane1124
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my husband age 75 has been on aricept and celexa for 7 months and he is now better than he was 5 + years ago in terms of mood, anxiety, agitation and memory. I have no idea how long this will last but for this moment it is a miracle.
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Reply to manatakei
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There are television ads for these 2 meds every day. Watch them.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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All of this information is very helpful. Still, I feel as if I'm not sure which way to go. Are these typical Alzheimers meds ever prescribed for someone with Vascular Dementia?

I'm consulting with a Geriatric Psychiatrist in a couple of weeks with my cousin, who has severe dementia. She's done quite well with her anxiety on Cymbalta and small dose of Seroquel at night, but lately is overly worried about where her long deceased parents are. She looks for them a lot in her wheelchair and is distressed.

I wonder if the psychiatrist will prescribe Namenda. She has never taken it. She is receiving Palliative care and my goal is to keep her as comfortable and content as possible. Quality, not quantity. If a med will help her distress, I'm for it, but, I guess, I've just never heard many good things about it or Aricept. I'd rather limit her meds if possible.

Does the doctor lay out the options and then let you decide? I'm her Healthcare POA. Will he give me the chance to think it over? I just don't want to be pressured into a med that could have bad side effects, that could then make her decline more.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Go to Namenda's site
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Reply to Llamalover47
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My Mother Who suffered from Alzheimer's just hated taking med's. Hence I seriously thought of not giving Mam all the tablets since why prolong the suffering when death will be the outcome, but then I asked Myself WHO AM I TO PLAY GOD, so I began crushing the tablets into powder and mixing in yougart before I gave to Mam. Mother passed away last June from Heart failure at 87 years, three years after being diagnosed with this awful disease of the Brain. Rest in peace.
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Reply to Johnjoe
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My MIL was on Namenda for 3 years. When she declined to the point of needing nursing care, where she was barely walking, her elder care doctor recommended removing all medications to be under hospice care. Even though Alzheimers is progressive, the response of decline was dramatic. She stopped walking and speaking. She used to be anxious and agitated which is why she was put on Namenda but when speaking stopped she did not demonstrate those problems. She occasionally smiles and only recognizes 2 people. She is still able to eat. That was more than 2 years ago and she is still alive. You may want to look at it as quality of life rather than quantity of life. As many people posted, some of those behaviour signs may return but in MIL's case it did not. She just had a rapid decline. Her 4 children still feel this was the best choice. All were on board with the decision.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Are most people using the namenda XR? I am not -- it is very expensive. Just curious.
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Reply to Luv2Travel
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