It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

  • Transitioning from aricept to nameda

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 06-05-2006, 09:40 AM   #1
    marypar
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    marypar's Avatar
     
    Join Date: May 2005
    Location: NY
    Posts: 178
    marypar HB User
    Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    Hi, My mom is still on aricept (since diagnosis in 2004); she seems okay most of the time, but sometimes cannot identify things, i.e., "mom, please get me some paper towels" and she is not sure what that is. How do you know when to switch to nameda? She still does all the housework, cooking and is very mechanically inclined (better than me). Are there any signs to look for that would necessitate the change? thanks, maryann

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 06-05-2006, 05:55 PM   #2
    Beginning
    Veteran
    (female)
     
    Beginning's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2003
    Location: USA
    Posts: 445
    Beginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    DH was put on Namenda along with the Reminyl (he switched from Aricept to Reminyl, but they're in the same family) at the beginning of the third year after his diagnosis. At the time, he was testing as late-early-stage. He now tests in the moderate range in yr. 4, and still takes both drugs. The doctors said that the Namenda works differently, so it might benefit him to have both drugs. I asked at his annual checkup when it will be time to stop either of them, and the Alzheimers' Research Center said that they generally recommend continuing as long as there's any possiblity that the patient is getting a benefit.

    For awhile, I believe we saw a slight improvement and leveling off with the Namenda. After about 6-8 months, though, DH's condition resumed a slow deterioration, with periodic drop-offs.

     
    Old 06-24-2006, 11:13 PM   #3
    hurtingheart
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    hurtingheart's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Eastland, Texas
    Posts: 6
    hurtingheart HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    Hello,
    I am new to this board but not new to this topic. My husband, who is 54, was diagnosed with AD three years ago. He began taking Exelon, plus a host of supplements and anti-inflammatories, right away. Namenda was added when it became available, and he began Aricept a few months ago just to see how he would do on it. He takes B complex shots monthly, too.

    He made some fairly remarkable improvements on the Aricept, so at his last visit last week, his neuro doubled the Aricept (10mg am and pm), but he has not adjusted well to this higher dose. In fact, he had what I thought was a stroke last Friday morning, but it was determined that it was the new level of medication, plus not eating with his meds, that put him into a tailspin.

    Are any of you familiar with the combination of these three drugs? What about taking the 10mg of Aricept twice a day? I plan to follow up with his neurologist regarding this on Monday, but I'm interested to learn from any of your experiences.

    Beginning, your situation sounds so much like mine. We have a 16 year old and a 12 year old at home. My husband is also on disability, so his SSI checks definitely help, but I share the burden you feel for being superwoman to your husband, kids, work, etc. I admire your attitude and have drawn strength from scanning back through your posts. I read for hours yesterday when I found this board and immediately connected to your situation. Like you, my husband has no family history. He is a hometown hero, former football star with state records that have never been broken, class president, Mr. Personality, the life of every party, a master joke teller, Sunday School teacher, and successful businessman. Now he is doing well to complete a sentence and is completely dependent upon me for all of his needs.

     
    Old 06-25-2006, 06:15 AM   #4
    Beginning
    Veteran
    (female)
     
    Beginning's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2003
    Location: USA
    Posts: 445
    Beginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB UserBeginning HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    HurtingHeart - I'm so glad to know that someone has found my postings useful. It helps a little to know that I'm not alone in this situation. Sometimes it seems as if no one understands what it's like to face this disease at a time when you should be enjoying your kids' activities and planning for the future together. The research center that we go to has spoken to us about starting an early onset support group, but they said that they haven't had enough families in this situation.

    How long has your husband been ill? We're in the 4th year and "early moderate" stage now, but it seems to be progressing much faster now. I'm weighing whether I need to have someone with him in the Fall when the kids go back to school, or just to check in on him during the day. They get home at 2:30 and I leave for work at 8:00, so he's not alone for very long. I'm struggling to pay off bills that he ran up in the early stages (you wouldn't believe the number! -- for ex., TWO custom mink coats at Christmas that couldn't be returned) and finding money for an aide would be a tremendous hardship for the family...but when it's time, we're just going to have to do it. He doesn't do much when no one is pushing him now (just sits in a chair in front of the tv if the tv is put on, or empties the garbage cans in the house all day). He used to need 5 hrs sleep, and now he dozes off & on all day and then goes to bed at 9:00 if I let him. He is getting frustrated and says that his brain is broken. It's harder and harder for him to communicate anything. He still grabs for the phone when it rings, and then can't write messages. He just hangs up on people if he doesn't understand them. We've started telling more people about this illness -- initially he didn't want anyone to know and we didn't want people to treat the kids differently, but now his behavior is becoming so odd that we need to explain it so that people don't think he's drunk, etc. We're at the point where I have to check his toothbrush to see if he's brushed (at the suggestion of his dentist), and remind him to use the electric razor I bought him. I try to keep his vision and dental appointments current, against the time when he won't be able to tell me when something's wrong.

    I hope the kids will be able to remember their "old Dad," the professional, instead of this Dad. I know my 19 and 17 yr olds have good memories, but the 14 yr old will have more memories of this Dad. I don't feel it's enough to just tell them stories and show them pictures, but that's all we have. I feel like a widow...

    I looked into daycare, but couldn't find anyplace near us. I'd have to drive nearly an hour to get to a facility, and it's on the other side of the city from my office and our home. When I spoke to them, they also admitted that their facility is meant more for elderly patients.

    Day by day....

     
    Old 06-25-2006, 10:57 AM   #5
    WannaBeFreeToRoam
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    WannaBeFreeToRoam's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jun 2005
    Location: Texas
    Posts: 1,438
    WannaBeFreeToRoam HB UserWannaBeFreeToRoam HB UserWannaBeFreeToRoam HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    Hi Everyone,

    Just want to put in a few cents worth on the drug part of the thread. My father who had had alzheimers for about 10 years, but just got diagnosed about 4-5 yrs. ago, takes Aricept for alzheimers and Sinemet for Parkinsons.

    In the beginning, he only took 5 mg. aricept and that helped at lot. Then after about 2 yrs., that stopped working and he started to go down hill.

    I talked the neuro into upping him to 10 mg. - I really do not think he wanted to do that. That worked for another 2 - 3 yrs. Right now, I do not think that his aricept is working at all. But, the family dr. and I and even my mom, are keeping him on it - just in case!

    He is in mid level or lower stage of alzheimers. Has started to see bugs. I am sure that this year will prove a year of many changes for my mom, dad, me, my husband and my sister.

    Take care and I personally think that the med. situation, depends on the patient, the cercumstances and the drs.

    Love, Wannabe

     
    Old 06-25-2006, 01:18 PM   #6
    hurtingheart
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    hurtingheart's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Eastland, Texas
    Posts: 6
    hurtingheart HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    The problems for my husband began surfacing five years ago, (age 49) and he was initially diagnosed three years ago. We have tested for everything imaginable and are in fact leaving for a sleep study that will be done tonight. He is in stage four, too. We have tried acupuncture, cranial-sacral therapy, arricular therapy, plus countless kinds of supplements.

    We also agreed early on that we wouldn't tell anyone, just to buy our kids as much time as possible. We live in a small town, though, and it wasn't long before everyone knew. He did some pretty bizarre things--like leaving his pickup running while he played 18 holes of golf--so it didn't take long.

    The first two years of the disease were spent trying different anti-depressants, things for anxiety, etc because of his word finding problem. Our gp just never even considered AD. Then my husband and kids were involved in a tragedy--they were the first on the scene of an accident involving one of our son's friends--my husband dug the boy out of a 40 ft. pile of wet sand, performed cpr on him and resuscitated him, but the child later died. That trauma sent my husband into a tailspin and the symptoms of his AD escalated.

    A few months after the incident he was diagnosed, but he really hasn't lost much ground since beginning on the Exelon. He improved slightly and stayed there through adding the Namenda. The last improvement came with the Aricept. I am very thankful that he hasn't worsened much (until this setback last week, which I hope is temporary until he adjusts to the higher dosage.)

    I am a school teacher, so I am off during the summer and am also able to check on him at least once during the day during the schoolyear. I also don't know what on earth we will do when he is no longer able to stay by himself.

    Our kids don't remember him any other way. He worked and was gone alot before the disease. The kids were 11 and 7 when his problems first began. On the Aricept, though, his old personality began to surface. They saw glimpses of his antics and hilarious personality that they couldn't remember seeing before. They saw him able to drive us to nearby cities for various things. Then after the doubling of the Aricept dosage, he's reverted back to that quiet, frustrated, housebound dad they know.

    Our faith gets us through most days. We pray for miraculous healing and a cure and hold onto hope for the future.

     
    Old 07-01-2006, 06:43 PM   #7
    gizmolove
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    gizmolove's Avatar
     
    Join Date: May 2001
    Location: WA.
    Posts: 159
    gizmolove HB Usergizmolove HB User
    Talking Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    I am glad to share what little I know about these drugs. I have been told that a lot of times doctors stop aricept when they think that it is not working. It is more likely that the drug should be raised (very slowly), rather than dropped, as stopping this drug can cause the person to backslide and the damage can be permanent.

    Nemeda is the U.S. version of an overseas drug called Mementaine. This drug was developed in Italy and has been used in Europe with remarkable improvements in early to late Alzheimer's. (I know nothing about the U.S. brand that was developed to decrease the sales of the European equivilant.)

    To my knowledge both nemeda and aricept can and should be used together.
    In my experience it it worthwhile to keep after the doctors to raise the medications to an appropriate level to be effective. This may requior special comminication skills when dealing with the doctor. Try to document dosages and reactions.

    Sorry, not much help

    Oh yes, and as far as I know, 20mg per day for aricept in later stage AD is not uncommon, rather is prefered. (The more the disability, the higher the dosage). If you are having problems, you might discuss with your doctor to try 3 @ 5 mg per day and then after adjustment, increase to 4 @ 5 mg per day. It may help to scatter the meds out at regular intervals rather then large dosages, twice a day. Just a thought.
    __________________
    Gizmo

    Last edited by gizmolove; 07-01-2006 at 06:50 PM.

     
    The following user gives a hug of support to gizmolove:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    The Following User Says Thank You to gizmolove For This Useful Post:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    Old 07-02-2006, 03:56 AM   #8
    Martha H
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Martha H's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Dec 2004
    Location: Middlebury, IN
    Posts: 4,690
    Martha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB UserMartha H HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    I'm sorry to report that neither of the above drugs did any good in my Moms's case. After trying Aricept she got non stop diahrrea, and it had to be stopped. Namenda had neither good nor bad effects. It was probably too late.

    In Mom's case the family doctor knew her well, and had a very high opinion of her capabilities. (Until this started, Mom was unusually bright and clever and sharp for her age ... early 90s) so he COULDN'T see it ... he told us all repeatedy, "she doesn't have Alzheimer, she is just getting old." By the time I came along with my stories of how she couldn't find her house, spoke to imaginary people on the street, threw money away and kept garbage - it was too late. I believe these drugs only help in early stages.

    I have stopped hoping a new drug will be invented to make Mom well. But maybe something will be discovered before MY generation starts getting AD ...

    Love,

    Martha

     
    The following user gives a hug of support to Martha H:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    The Following User Says Thank You to Martha H For This Useful Post:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    Old 07-02-2006, 08:16 PM   #9
    hurtingheart
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    hurtingheart's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Eastland, Texas
    Posts: 6
    hurtingheart HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    Thank you so much for your input. I like the idea of transitioning slowly from 10 to 20 mg and trying 5 mg increments.

    Have you heard of taking Exelon and Aricept together (in addition to Namenda)?

     
    The following user gives a hug of support to hurtingheart:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    The Following User Says Thank You to hurtingheart For This Useful Post:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    Old 07-03-2006, 12:11 AM   #10
    gizmolove
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    gizmolove's Avatar
     
    Join Date: May 2001
    Location: WA.
    Posts: 159
    gizmolove HB Usergizmolove HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    Dear Hurting,

    You asked, "Have you heard of taking Exelon and Aricept together (in addition to Namenda)?"

    I've heard that either Exelon or Aricept was prescribed for the condition of AD; but, not both together. I have also heard that Aricept and Namenda are sometimes prescribed to work in conjunction for the condition of AD. But, I have not heard of Exelon being used with Namenda. (Not that this may not be possiable? I just don't know.)

    Keep in mind that I am not a health care professional. My only experience is many years on this board and others on line, that relate to Alzheimer's. My own mother died in 1998. And, I can only relate what I know in relationship to her care.

    The 2 most important things that I can relate to you are, these two things:

    1) It is important to continue Aricept once treatment begins. And, Aricept can be used in any stage of the disease, (not just for beginning stages as I was told. That's why I never got the benifits of Aricept for my mom in the 90's. And, I know in my heart that it would have been effective if it were at least tried).

    Which brings me to point 2.

    2) It is up to you, as a caregiver, to become more expert in drug therapy than the doctor, when monitoring drugs for your loved one. I can attest to the fact that many times doctors (poor things) don't always know what drugs are available, how they work, various side effects, and relationship in mixing various drugs together. Therefore it is imparative for YOU to be the drug detective. (The expert). You can do this by careful research and by charting drug dosages and reactions.

    Do an on-line research about these medications. Pfizer is the company that makes Aricept. Read the material that they offer on their website. Contact your local pharmasist. This is why it is important to choose a good pharmacy and stick to it. They can help you understand drugs in various groups, like anti-depressants, anxiety drugs, and drugs for phycosis, and sometimes they can help in telling you if combinations of these meds will mix well together.

    When you get a drug to try, start in light dosages and chart it's progress. Never take someone off a drug until you consult a professional. Never up the dosage unless it's under the direction of a doctor. The careful balance of drugs, working together to address symptoms and the careful upping the dosage to watch the effects until you get the right blend that appears effective to address the symptoms, is called "titration". Make sure that the prescribed drugs are carefully titrated to address the symptoms of the problems that you are trying to address.

    This takes time, energy, careful charting and monitoring, and a watchful team of professionals. Do your homework, do the research, and talk to people like those of us on line that have been there, and consult your professionals. Just like Hilary says, "it takes a village to raise a child", it takes a competent team that you can rely upon to treat an AD patient.

    Good Luck, and God go with you,

    Hugs,
    Giz

    I would just like to add that in my case, my biggest problem was that I had to scratch and beg and bite and scream to get my mom's drugs raised up to a dosage that was effective. I enlisted the visiting nurses to back up my concerns, (works better comming from nurses to doctors, after all, I'm just the caregiver, so what did I know?). But once we got mom's meds raised to an effective level (took two months), mom leveled off and I had my own mom back again.

    NEVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT!

    Fight "the good fight", you'll never regret it.

    And, sometimes the worst thing about this disease is, you will often say to yourself, "who has the Alzheimer's here? My ..... or all those so-called professionals, that should know better"?
    __________________
    Gizmo

    Last edited by gizmolove; 07-03-2006 at 12:18 AM.

     
    The following user gives a hug of support to gizmolove:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    The Following User Says Thank You to gizmolove For This Useful Post:
    luyingjie (01-25-2012)
    Old 07-03-2006, 07:30 AM   #11
    hurtingheart
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    hurtingheart's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Eastland, Texas
    Posts: 6
    hurtingheart HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    You are absolutely right about the caregiver monitoring and searching out the best possible combinations of medications. We have a wonderful and aggressive neurologist who has been willing for us to try all possible combinations and dosages, but he relies on me to tell him what is working best.

    The combination of Exelon, Namenda, and Aricept (at 10mg) has been the best combination for us so far. The neuro told us he personally had never tried this therapy, but was willing to give it a try.

    My husband has been off the extra dosage of Aricept for a week now (with the neuro's blessing) and has finally gotten out of the fog and lethargy that he was suffering on the extra dosage. He drove to his regular "coffee shop" group this morning and is doing well!

    Thank you for your insight, and I will keep pressing on!

     
    Old 07-04-2006, 10:29 PM   #12
    MIMPHISTO
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    MIMPHISTO's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Jul 2005
    Posts: 20
    MIMPHISTO HB User
    Re: Transitioning from aricept to nameda

    "(10mg am and pm), but he has not adjusted well to this higher dose."

    Oh my..I read this and was taken a bit back..it's been a while since I've been on the board..just too busy at home and with work...But are you sure that he is on a total of 20MG? If so that's not the correct dose, 10MG is the FDA approved and recommended (by Pfizer / Eisai who makes Aricept) therapeutic dose. If he's on 20, he's going to wack out. You should make sure it's 10MG if not, go to another doctor! Pronto..if someone is prescribing 20mg they are a Quack...I'm not trying to be rude, but trying to the point. There is only one current study that is in what is called clinical ii trials that is looking at uping aricept to 11 or 12mg doses.

    Namenda is taking upto 20MG, but not Aricept. As well you mentioned that using Exleon and Namenda together, I do not advise combining Aricept and Exelon as they both have similar mechanisms of action, both can cause gastrointestinal side effects which are probably additive, and there are no studies that suggest the combination works any better than either one alone at the appropriate dose, this is aside from Aricept and Namenda those studies do show a positive for combination therapy. Try one medication adjustment at a time and assess the positive and negative effects on your husband. Remember this though, if you take someone off Aricept they will crash, meaning their level of cognitive functioning will decrease dramatically.

    Good luck.



    Good luck!

    PS, if you need more info on AD, check out "Alzheimer's Essentials; Practical Skills for Caregivers" ... I've recommended it on the board before, explains a lot in a short book..better than 36 hours, it also addresses younger folks with AD...


    Last edited by MIMPHISTO; 07-04-2006 at 10:36 PM.

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Experiences with aricept? Older student Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 16 04-06-2010 04:04 AM
    Aricept and Nameda mamcccpr Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 12 03-30-2009 07:15 AM
    Aricept-discontinue? jannar Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 15 02-13-2009 07:23 PM
    Aricept/Namenda Librarygal59 Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 3 06-10-2008 11:55 AM
    coming off aricept... gdschillins Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 28 05-28-2008 07:46 AM
    Aricept for Memory problems Shadowrider Multiple Sclerosis 4 10-29-2005 11:24 AM
    Aricept Results Sandyspen Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 12 05-09-2005 02:18 PM
    Aricept & Diarrhea? AnxiousDaughter Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia 4 12-12-2004 12:46 PM
    Halfway through Aricept Study ssmfeen ADD / ADHD 0 04-03-2002 06:37 AM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:36 AM.





    © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!