My mom is 85 years old and her dosage is 5 mg of each of Namenda and Aricept, once per day. When I mentioned my concern about the 20 pound weight loss, her doctor started ordering a batter of tests--she had a chest x-ray, and a ct abdominal and pelvic scan. Still we have no answers about the weight loss. Next the doctor referred her to have a colonoscopy and to see a gynocologist. By then, Mom refused to have any more tests, so there was no colonoscopy or gynocologist. But my initial feeling was that the medication was implicated in the weight loss. She has never in her life eaten more than two meals a day--a good breakfast and lunch--followed by evening snacks of fruit and ice cream. So her lifetime eating habits have not changed.
Her memory is a bit worse--not by much--and the drugs have certainly not improved her condition. I assume it they serve to delay the disease, but I really cannot be sure of that. I have observed that she has more confusion with an increased does of Namenda. The doctor wanted to increase her dose before he even found out what caused the weight loss. I didn't think it was a good idea to change the dosage when there was a concern about the possibility of a known side effect affecting the patient. I asked the doc not to increase the Aricept dosage at this time because of my concerns.
Has anyone has experience with or knowledge about weight loss and these dementia drugs? How did you handle the situation? Is there an action of the drug that could cause weight loss, even when the caloric intake does not change?
Thanks for all comments.