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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

when do stop taking aricept
That is something you need to discuss with your mom's geriatric specialist... someone that understands the benefits and side effects and doesn't just hold it out as the only help out there.

I took Mom off when her Mini mental score dropped dramatically below 10. I also took her off because of emotional distress that we thought might be coming from the medication. Dad stayed on the meds for years (way too long) Hospice stopped them when I couldn't get the doctor to agree to stop them.

I am going to say my piece here.... soap box stance :) I have been known to say vile things to the TV screen when the ads for these meds come on. This is the ONLY hope the medical community can give up in this hopeless disease and they tout it as a miracle cure which it is not. It gives grandma/pa/mom/dad/spouse... back to us. NO! At best it might slow down the progress in some alzheimer's patient for a short time. You probably won't even notice the changes... if any. Once on the meds it is similar to pulling life support to get then off. The first time I ask about taking Mom off the meds I was told it was a Moral Issue... HUH!?!?! It's a thin thread of hope that doesn't hold up to the expectation we are given.

So if your mom is in the later stages, showing emotional distress, had a low mini mental score, and you get an immediate no to your question... ask why and keep asking :)

Love,, deb
Hmmm, how can I answer this question without showing anger and resentment towards doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

All I will say is, all advertisers lie a lot. Ads for medications lie even more.

None of the anti Alzheimer drugs helped my Mother even one tiny bit.

Oh Martha and Deb I read an article that said aricept only works for 6 months. At my Mom neurologist appointment I ask if we could take her off, since she has been on them more than two years. He told me absolutely not, we would lose Mom and we would not get her back. So I agreeed with him, because Mom does still know who I am, and I do not want to lose that any sooner than I have to. But I do value your opinion and I even agree with you. How do you know when to quit buying in to the hype and not continuing Mom's misery.....

The article is right CJ. If you look at the research there is a slight change in the progression for the first few months and then it follow the same line and those not on the meds. It has not been tested on ALL dementia... just ALZ. It doesn't work in ALL cases but in a percentage that gave a little bump in the results so they throw it out there as a miracle. BAH!!!

I have been told the same thing you were told... I would lose my Mom and not get her back. My Mom was not present in that angry scared little lady that was sitting there. She was frightened and combative. My question to the doctor was... "Do I really want to keep my Mom in this condition?" Is that moral and ethical? What happened to Quality of Life?! I hate the scare tactics the medical profession uses. He might as well tell you that you were killing your Mom. But I bet if you checked... he was getting a nice kick back from the pharmaceutical company for each script he scribbled on his pad.

It was only after I was able to talk to a geriatric psychiatrist that managed the Geriatric Behavioral Med Unit that I found rational talk about this medication. That is why I suggest not talking to a GP, family physician, or neurologist, or even psychiatrist that is not a specialist and understands that this medication is not a cure all.

Beyond that, if you take mom off the meds and she does get worse... even if it has to do with a health issue or some other issue... they are afraid you are going to come back at them for taking Mom off the miracle drug. No, you can't go back up in cognition after it has slipped. So part of their reluctance is out of fear. They don't have legitimate hope to give us at this time... and that bugs them. So they tout what they have.. and what they get kick backs from :)

Love, deb

Sorry... this is a soap box issue for me... and Martha ;-)
Well Deb you and Martha keep on your soap box because I value your opinions and I would trust either one of you before I would a Doctor that gets kick backs (I agree with your kick back theory).


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