What is the difference between the Exelon patch and the Aricept pill?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 01, 2016
Jean c. asked...

What is the difference between the Exelon patch and the Aricept pill? My husband's dr. prescribed the patch and the insurance company denied it. He has now prescribed the pill.

Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

Exelon patch is causing less side effects than Exelon pill but has the same effect as Aricept pill. So you would not get much benefit except may be from easier administration.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

Ladislav Volicer MD is almost correct. The active ingredient works on one area of the brain; the active ingredient in Exelon works in at least 5. There are two studies using tracers confirming this. Those with a dementia brought on by Lyme disease see symptom improvement superior to use of Aricept alone. On the downside: side reactions of use of either the patch form or oral of Excelon can cause an allergy enhancement reaction (disseminated allergic dermatitis) that appears after 2-weeks of use, and may exacerbate 'colitis-like' symptoms (poor absorbtion of Ca, K, etc.).

A fellow caregiver answered...

Can you comment more about options for treating dementia brought on by Lyme disease, or about articles that provide more information about demential brought on by Lyme disease?