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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

aricept when to stop taking it
None of the current medications for dementia are for long term usage. They may slow the disease some in the first few months they are taken but there are no promises. The psychiatrist told me that after the MMSE dropped out of the 20's (30 to 0 scale) the medication was not being effective. If your loved one is taking a sharp downward turn then the medication is not being effective. For some it does nothing.

The decision to stop the medication is between you and your doctor. It is my opinion that I don't want to slow down this disease after it reaches the mid stages. That is not fair to my loved one to do anything that might cause them to linger longer.

These medications are not a sure thing and they don't turn back the disease or stop the progression. They might slow it down in some people. That's the best they can do. It was designed for the very early stages of the disease and have little beneficial effects in the mid or late stages. Problem is most dementia is not diagnosed until the mid stages. But they are the only hope that physician can peddle so they peddle them hard and the drug companies make lots of money.

Mom was diagnosed in the mid stages by a research group that was investigating the effectiveness of these medications. They did not recommend the medication for Mom who was in the mid stages of the disease. It was her personal physician who prescribed them for her. Even on the medication her decline continued at a steady pace. She was not on them long before her MMSE indicated that they were doing no good and I had her taken off.

You also have to watch out for side effects.... especially gastrointestinal upset and agitation.

So you have to ask yourself.... is Mom continuing to decline? Is she at a place in the disease that slowing the disease will being HER more quality of life? Is she at a stage in her disease that you do not want to hold her any longer than necessary for HER sake. If you are asking the question... it is probably time :)

Love, deb

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