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My mother took Namenda 5 mg and seemed to do well, however, she became mean and uncooperative.. The only thing that had changed was the dosage of Namenda had been increased from 5 mg to 10 mg. When we decreased the Namenda back to 5 mg, my father said it was like night and day. She was cooperative again. Now the psych doctor insists on increasing her Namenda dosage and she is mean and mostly uncooperative. The psych doc said it is probably because her dementia is progressing. Anyone have any similar experience with a loved one and Namenda?

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akdaughter, I also asked mom's doc a few months ago if we could discontinue the Namenda XR and the Aricept since she was experiencing aggression. The doc discouraged me with the usual "she'll go downhill if we do," and said the Aricept had been found recently to still be useful (though I never found that report on line). Since the aggression abruptly stopped and has not returned since that time, I still give her both, albeit I did experiment and did a week without giving her the Aricept. I saw no difference in behavior and again, the anger has not occurred for quite awhile. We're also finished with the trial drug Nuedexta, since I also saw no difference with this drug. Yep, I think the expense of the Namenda is ridiculous but will bide my time about this.
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My mom starting taking Namenda about seven years ago. Her dementia continued to progress at about the same rate. I asked her PCP about discontinuing this medication about three years ago after reading that it is only effective for a couple of years at best. He said that no one knows how long it works or if she would decline faster without it. Late in 2015 mom started getting more and more aggressive, and after reading about a possible link between the Namenda and aggression, I asked for it to be discontinued the past January. I have not noticed any acceleration in her decline and she is still aggressive. She is being treated with a couple of new drugs to control her aggression. Bottom line - I don't think the Namenda made any difference in either her decline or her aggression. The only difference it seemed to make was in her bank account. I wish I had discontinued it several years ago.
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I have seen Namenda work on people, I am also seeing that at a stage, it can make them mean, not everyone of course, some peolpe do well on it with no problems. I work with people who usually end up on hospice, one thing i over herd is when a person is declining, and getting violent they take them off the Namenda, and i see the difference in them, so I belive the family and loved ones need to look out for the people they love, and if they start getting mean, not just the bad day, or genuine issues they might be dealing with, where it is putting them in a state of mind that they cannot be taken care of properly , maybe consider taking them off. Sometimes you need to think about quality, not adding a few more months in fear and anger.
Their is no black and white answer, if it is working for your loved one, let it work, if it stops then consider stopping it. My understanding is it slows down the progression, it doesn't stop it.
I came to this site because i have noticed the change in some people I care for, I don't want to recomend taking them off or decreasing the dosage on a whim, I am not a dr, and i don't prescribe, but i do talk with families that are asking what can i do to make it nicer for my loved one, i only can oly make a suggestion, they need to follow up with their doctor.
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DebMta, Namenda has been approved by the FDA for treatment of Alzheimer's only. Doctors sometimes prescribe it off-label for other kinds of dementia (because there are not good options approved for other kinds of dementia.)

Since your son does not have dementia, his doctor apparently thought it might be worth trying for whatever similar symptoms your son has. This is an off-label use. So in this case it is being used in a way that the FDA has never evaluated it for. That happens and it is not necessarily a bad thing. Every single drug to treat the symptoms my husband had with LBD was used off-label. And we were grateful for each and every one.

But when a drug is used off-label, the FDA approval does not apply.

Even when Namenda is prescribed as intended for an Alzheimer patient, the patient should be watched closely for side-effects. Some of these occur at known rates within the target population, and other are known to occur but the rates have not been determined yet. The problem is, even if it is known that X% of patients will experience a side effect, there is no way to determine WHICH X% that will be. So it is trial-and-watch-and-and-make-adjustments.

This is the nature of drugs in general and drugs for the mind in particular. Even though they may be terrible for some people, their value for others outweighs that in the decision about whether they can be marketed. (The side effects are not permanent and will go away when the drug is out of the system.)

Since your son is one of the X% who reacts with "hostility" he certainly should be taken off the drug by his doctor. There are known possible side-effects and a responsible doctor watches for those when prescribing the drug, especially off-label.

I'm sorry for your experience, and I hope the doctors find a more suitable treatment for your son.
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My 27 yr. old son was put on this and his happy, friendly easy going personality totally changed to an aggressive, angry ; the least little thing setting him off. I do not like a med that causes this drastic of a turn in people. He does not have dementia, so it is not the progression of that as some doctors claim. It is the medication. I am afraid of what it could cause a person to do. Acting out anger in a violent way. I think it needs to be re-evaluated by FDA.
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My husband, 51 years old, was treated with Aricept for five months with no response good or bad. The doctor added Namenda XR 7mg and he started hallucinating. He would talk to himself and laugh in the mirrors. When the prescription was increased gradually to 28mg his laughter towards his reflection became anger. He would tell "that guy" to get out, say f you and call it many bad names. His anger became so intense, I had to take him to the emergency room to get treatment a few days ago. So yes, Namenda can definitely aggravate some individuals with Dementia.
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My husband has dementia and has been prescribed Aricept and Namenda. He has been on 10 MG for 2 1/2 months. He has become very depressed, weak, belligerent, and uncooperative that I took him off 3 days ago. He's still having the problems, but I just can't keep going this way. He wasn't this way before the Namenda.
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My husband was on Namenda for about 3 months and we did notice an increase in aggression but it did make him seem much more present in his daily activities. But he just decided he didn't want to take it anymore and stopped about three months ago and aggression did stop after that time, so?
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my husband was on it for a short time (along with Aricept that he is still on) and in his case he kept hearing music in his ears so neuro took him off
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The simple matter of the fact is what we all ready know and that drugs always have side effects and depending on the person these can be good or bad. I just recently started giving my mother Namenda and we will see what happens. I know that in the end the results are going to be the same. She will decline and nothing except a direct intervention from God will stop this disease. Giving these drugs to are loved ones only prolongs the suffering on both the caregiver and the patient. Still we do it because we refuse to quit and give up until it's absolutely unavoidable. Maybe one day in a few years they will discover a cure, but I truly doubt they will because the brain is such a complicated organ. The one organ that controls our whole life force. Still we must not give up.
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My mom, 91, is on Namenda - I think it's 5mg. She's little at 91 lbs. Anyhow, she's taken it for over a year, and isn't mean or nasty. I haven't noticed it helping much, but then again I haven't seen much more decline than when the dr. put her on it either.... she forgets, short term memory sucks. But she's not nasty. I give her Namenda XR at dinnertime, so if there was any nastiness to be had, she would be in bed sleeping anyhow.... She also changes the Exelor patch that goes with it nightly. Her dr. explained to me that the patch was the butter, and Namenda was the lobster, and they both work alone but together are much more effective and "better". She is still on Namenda XR and the patch so we'll see. She has vascular dementia, according to her dr, but refuses an MRI.
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Regardless of what the doctor is telling you, if she is doing well and non aggressive on 5 mg. keep her on that. Doctors are not Gods and you have every right to refuse the dosage, and in fact I have refused all the drugs normally given my husband (Aricept, Namenda, etc.) for dementia because of the side effects and these drugs will NOT CHANGE the diagnosis. Listen to your gut.
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Doctors don't live in the home with the patient. I do as I please doctors be dammed. I live with my mom and I know how she reacts. My style is to fire the doctor and find one who listens to what we are saying. If it's having a bad effect and the doctor is not listening to you, maybe it's time to find a new doctor.
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Namenda is a double-edged sword. Yes, it improves memory, but often the patient remembers what they are angry over. The ability to hold a grudge is restored. Fix the anger before you repair the memory.
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Sorry for typo - If your dr. is over 50 and you suspect NPH get a 2nd opinion from a younger Dr. as this test is making a comeback. If NPH is the cuase there is a chance it can be helped (unlike ALZ which can't be reversed).
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NPH - some indications - wlaking slowly with"wide apart" gait - also like feet "stuck to floor" in addition to memory problems.
As I was advised - if your Dr. is over 50 (tests for this used to be done regularly and were discontinued. Dr's over 50 and young enough to still be practicing -probably .
It basically means water is collecting on the brain. A shunt is placed and in my husbands case meant walking/falling issues were greatly improved.
Thinking was also helped ,too. But to a lesser degree.
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I found this:
"Could Namenda cause Aggression - eHealthMe"
ehealthme/ds/namenda/aggression

MY OPINION ONLY:
Many drugs can cause RARE side effects in geriatric populations - Aging causes differences in how medications are metabolized by the body (That is one reason doses need to be reduced or carefully titrated in the elderly).

JUST MY OPINION.
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neuro just took my husband off Namenda because we think it was causing him to hear music in his head when he tried to sleep and also increased his dizzy spells. He is on Aricept. Will be going back to neuro in 2 months to see if removing it was a good idea. In our case husband has probably Lewy Body Dementia and neuro said altho Namenda is definitely helpful with ALZ they are not sure that it is with LBD
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Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
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What is NPH?
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I hadn't finished, when the computer decided I was! But my husband can get difficult. It is his nature...I will have to see how much more this aggressiveness lasts, and if it is possibly Namenda. He already has urinary problems. I wouldn't want that to worsen.....his short term memory is getting worse....but otherwise he is about the same....marymember
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My husband has recently started taking Namenda XL. Before it was 10 mg. twice a day. Sometimes it was hard getting the second dosage, because he would leave. He still drives and works with a friend afternoons and early evenings repairing tractors and repainting them. He hasn't gotten lost going back and forth. But he is experiencing difficulty in breathing, so this week we have an appointment made to see a cardiologist. I doubt if it is the Namenda, as this started happening only about four days ago, and he has been on Namenda XL about six weeks. He had been on the two a day dosage, but never complained of shortness of breath. As for being cranky, he is difficult at times
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Cindyoh, do go to the link at the bottom of the Namenda page (and look at the graphs. Mom's neurologist tried her on Aricept first then went to Namenda XR (and there is some difference between Namenda and Namenda XR in side effects and benefits). She said some patients show improvement, but for most it is a long-term strategy, slowing the deterioration rather than making them better.

People have different tolerances, reactions, and outcomes; those we care for have different illnesses in different stages. You as the caregiver are the closest and best observer, the best person to make the call.
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Husband misdiagnosed with ALZ had NPH - psych Dr. put on Aricept - after 2 weeks of h*ll and Dr. saying "Aricept doesn't do that" finally he said "well just take him off it and see what happens". It was like waking from bad dream. Husband said "Where did I go? I don't ever want to go there again."
Anytime a Dr. says any drug "doesn't have that effect" I would recommend getting a 2nd opinion.
Internist questioned why husband taken off Aricept - said usually any bad reaction usually happens within a few days of starting med. I said it did. He then agreed this was not the medicine for my husband, too.
Dr's are only human and are not with patient enough to know what the total effect is. Caregiver needs to report all problems and if necessary get 2nd, 3rd opinion
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My husband has FXTAS which involves severe dementia. He started on Namenda around 5 years ago, when he had already progressed pretty far into disability, both mental and physical. I have thought the Namenda stabilized him, because any declines happened more slowly, and he seemed to plateau at the same level for many years. He is still basically healthy, but with a very impaired brain from his genetic illness, and still on Namenda (10 mg twice a day). He has never exhibited any bad side effects from it. I always thought it kept him from declining more rapidly.
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They've put my dad on aricept and namenda. Quite honestly I don't notice any difference. He was aggressive before dementia, so I can't gauge that. They don't have a pill for Alzheimer's. People need to face facts.
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My mother is on Namenda 10mg twice a day, I really don't think its the medication Namenda I believe its the dementia because my mom has some aggressive days that last for weeks but her good days go on for months. As a matter of fact before the Dr. put my mother on Namenda he aggressive behavior would go on for months so my experience since my mother been on Namenda has been the best medication to help her with her memory and control her aggressive behavior.
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Husband just started on Namenda 3 days ago. I was surprised when Dr.wanted more meds. After reading these comments I feel forget them as he is a lion turned into lamb and don't want that reversed. Please caregivers give more comments w your reaction of the pill. I really appreciate these comments.
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My mil has been on this for about 4 years. As she is progressing, her anger is getting worse. She was getting up at night, yelling and slamming things around etc...all because she was mad at her other son for not visiting or help us. We went to the Dr, and he got her on a low dose of generic Xanax. THAT made a difference of night and day! The Dr said that is an easy fix. She just needed a little. She was never an angry person before, so that is all it took. Don't get me wrong, she still gets a little mad, but nothing like what I was waking up to. Good luck.
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Hmm, this is interesting to me. Mom's been on Namenda XR for a bit now, and I always give it to her in the a.m. Before that, it was Namenda 10 mg morning and evening for a year or so. Have not noticed any aggression to speak of in the mornings, but now lately in the evenings, not every night, she's been on the nasty side. Will go to bed and about an hour later emerge from her bedroom looking mean and telling me to go home. (So anger at the end of the day because of Namenda XR in the a.m. I'm thinking not). Wondering if she'd go down the tubes completely with no Namenda at all, since they're doing away with the regular Namenda. I'm real tired of trying to get her meds to work for her together (a bit of mirtazapine, the divalproex and the donazepil). Every day is different and none too happy for her. Some afternoons-evenings are hell for no apparent reason, some not. The family doc wants no part of working with the psych meds, and the visits to the neurologist don't seem to be very helpful. His nurses have me feeling I'm expecting too much, yet he happily prescribed the psych meds. I get the distinct feeling they just don't know much. I know the disease is probably progressing. Some days would just love to drive her to the ER and drop her off.
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