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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Aricept
Efficacy Of Aricept [posted
Answer:We usually provide it and measure it's effectiveness often through use of an Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE). However, the natural history of Alzheimer's is a progressive decline. We currently think that the decline in effectiveness reflects on the underlying disease, not the medication. I have patients who have had improvement for 1-2 years and other patients who decline/little effect in 3-6 months. I would check with the company concerning studies, Pfizer: 800-723-7529.
Is Aricept Only for Alzheimer's [posted
Answer: Only use that is approved.
Aricept [posted 10/1/98]
Answer:Aricept is a recent addition to the treatment of dementia. Although there is a long list of potential side effects, it generally has minimal problems. GI symptoms(nausea, cramps, diarrhea, etc) tend to predominate.
Aricept [posted 8/14/98]
Answer: Aricept is a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It is used to treat patients with Alzheimer's Dementia. Some physicians will try it on patients prior to a clear case of Alzheimer's to test its effect since there are so few things one can treat memory loss with that help. Side effects include nausea, diarrhea, muscle cramps, weight gain, insomnia and depression. It is dosed at either 5 or 10 mg a day. It should be used with care when given concurrently with ketoconazole or quinidine. It is usually worth a try since the side effects are fairly minimal and self limited. However, I haven't seen a lot of success (like other drugs in this group).
Aricept [posted 8/14/98]
Answer: Aricept is an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase. Since Alzheimer's disease involves a deficiency in acetylcholine and cholinergic activity, this drug allows an increase in this level by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for breaking it down. Side effects include nausea, diarrhea, muscle cramps and insomnia.
Aricept [posted 8/11/98]
Answer: Happy to give you information, but you should consider another physician if they don't have the interest/energy/professional integrity to understand the drugs they are prescribing. From my perspective, that is the worst kind of physician. Aricept is a recently approved drug for use in Alzheimer's type Dementia. It has the brand name Donepezil hydrochloride. It is a reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase which is the apparent mode of action in the brain. From my experience, about 20% - 30% of patients improve - especially in the earlier stages of the disease. Side effects include slowing of the heart rate (and is contraindicated in patients with sick sinus syndrome), should be watched closely if the patient has a history of ulcers (increases acid). Common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, urinary hesitancy, muscle cramps, fatigue and insomnia. Hypertension is also seen occasionally. It takes some time to achieve steady state and the dosage should not be increased to 10 mg until the patient has been on 5 mg for 6 weeks or so. I usually give mental status tests to have an accurate gauge to follow for improvement since it is somewhat expensive.
Aricept Side Effects [posted
Answer: Stop the Aricept and see what happens. If it persists, I'd contact the company (easily done with your physician) and discuss the findings.
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