Should we try to put my wife on Aricept again, if it didn't work for her before?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Richrose asked...

My wife, after two years, is now probably in the second stage of Alzheimer's. I keep seeing Aricept mentioned most frequently as the first choice drug. She was originally scheduled on this drug (including the patch) but did not tolerate either very well. Razadyne and Namenda is what she is currently taking. Should I be attempting to get her switched back to Aricept considering it may be a more effective drug, and may be worth trying again?

Expert Answers

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

The FDA has approved several medications for the treatment of Alzheimer's. Three of them are called cholinesterase inhibitors: Razadyne® (galantamine), Exelon® (rivastigmine), and Aricept® (donepezil.) They all function pretty the same way. Some people may have unpleasant reactions to one and not another of these drugs. One drug is not better than the other two. The big difference is in commercial promotion. You'll see numerous ads for Exelon and Aricept and very little mention of Razadyne. For your information the FDA has ordered Aricept to withdraw several of their TV commercials for being misleading. If your wife is doing well on Razadyne, there's no reason to switch.

Community Answers

Richrose answered...

This was just the information I was looking for and I thank you so much for taking the time to post it. Best to you.