It is listed as a medication for dementia. A doctor has to prescribe it. I doubt if taking it when you are healthy would prevent Alzheimers. Perhaps some doctors prescribe it when they think it might be Dementia but are not sure. I never heard of it being used for amy other condition.
My mother tried it. She got unstoppable diarreah. She couldn't make it to the toilet. This went on for 5 days with no improvement, and the doctor said, "stop taking it. It doesn't help much anyway at her age and her stage of the disease." (over 90, already several years of bizarre behavior behind her.)
I would stay away from any brain changing drugs unless a neurologist really thinks it will help.
The neurologist who prescribed aricept, and then some months later namenda for my husband's dementia (symptom of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus) told me it probably wouldn't work but wouldn't do any harm either. Neither the aricept or namenda made the slightest difference, after a couple of months they were stopped.
It was my understanding from the research facility that Mom was diagnosed at that the earlier the medications are prescribed the better the results. By the time most are diagnosed, mid to late states, then it does little. Their research was related to effective ways to diagnose early enough for the current meds available to have the maximum effect. Mom was past that period when diagnosed and after I revisit she was dismissed. I did see something recently on the news about the effects of the drugs being short lasting and not effective for years. I need to do some research on that one.
A few weeks ago in a visit to a physician, I was told if I could obtain genetic testing through a local medical school (teaching hospital), that if I have a genetic 'pre-disposition' to alz, that she would presribe me aricept now (I am 48, with no symptoms, mom is 83, with stage 7 alz, in nh). I cannot find anywhere info to support what she said. Your post is the first I saw of anyone else taking aricept before dx w/alz.
If anyone knows anything about this alleged 'genetic testing' I would be interested in info. Apparently it is still in 'trials' phase, so I think that means they don't even know if they have found the 'genetic marker'.
Considering the side effects it had on my Mom, I would stay away from Aricept with a 10 foot pole -- 20 feet if you don't even have the first symptom. Even if there is a genetic marker, and you have it --- that does not mean you have to get it. It only means the tendency to get it is present. I read somewhere that a large percentage of AD victims have no family history of it at all.
I would say no thanks, and live and enjoy my life, not worried about what may happen to me in my 80s! Besides, didn't we all hear that Aricept only works for something like 7 months? You would be taking it for several decades! I don't know who would profit from this .... outside of the drug manufacturers .....
The reason I even asked About it is the doctor has given my father aricept and told him that his testing came out pretty good they are just waiting on the MRI So she gave him the drug just in case and if he has the begining stages of alzheimer it would help and if he doesnt it wont hurt him...I just find it hard to beleave that a drug like that wouldnt do any harm if you take it and dont have anything wrong with you
Robin...what a great question you've brought up! It's really interesting what has been posted in response.
As I mentioned before...my Mom's time on Aricept was only for the 9 months recommended. My FIL also had the 9mo Aricept treatment...MIL was given Reminyl (made from daffodil bulbs!)...and the pharmacist was surprised she was given Reminyl because it was supposed to be for very early stages.
When I finally accepted Mom's diagnosis...I tried to research EVERYTHING I could! One thing that really stood out to me was the 2 main instances for an Alzheimer's diagnosis............(1) hereditary, and (2) a severe bump on the head sometime during a persons life.
In the case of heredity...it seems diagnosis was made in the older siblings of larger families much more often. ( perhaps needed stimulation in the brain didn't happen when Mom tended to younger siblings ???)
The bump on the head is a scary one! Yup! Mom was tossed off a motorcycle and unconscious for a while long ago. (Boy! That was my 1st thought when I came to a few years ago after slipping on ice and falling face down on the sidewalk! Both eyes blackened...nose pushed to side of my face...chipped teeth...broken arm...BIG bruise and indentation on forhead!)
You know...there's a reason doctors are called "Practitioner's"...........I just don't like 'em practicing on my loved ones.....................Pam