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Real members of myALZteam have posted questions and answers that support our community guidelines, and should not be taken as medical advice. Looking for the latest medically reviewed content by doctors and experts? Visit our resource section.

How Do Caregivers Feel About Prescription Drugs For Dementia

How Do Caregivers Feel About Prescription Drugs For Dementia

posted 4 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

My husband was started on Aricept. In a month, we had not noticed any difference. This drug just slows down the degeneration of the brain process. He got a 3 month refill which ends soon and I don’t think he will get a refill. So I ask myself, what is the benefit of slowing down the process if there is no cure? Maybe for some patients and caregiver, this extra time makes a difference. I think if this terrible disease is going to take what is left of the man I married 37 years ago, bring it on. Let it happen sooner than later so those of us left can retain some good memories. I know some of you may think this sounds terrible but would you think the same about a dying cancer patient? Would you want life to be prolonged? For what? If a medication could stop or reverse the process, I say yes but we all know that is not currently happening.

posted 4 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

Mary, I think you will find that many dementia patients are taking one or more prescription drugs to help control their symptoms. The type of drug and the dosage depends on what symptoms have been exhibited by the patient and what the prescribing physician believes will be most effective.

In my wife’s case (a late stage ALZ patient), her gerontologist has prescribed Lorazepam (generic Ativan) to help her avoid nighttime anxiety attacks that used to keep her (and me) awake all night. Now we both get a restful night’s sleep. However, it took several “false starts” to find the correct dosage and timing to take the medication.

posted 4 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

My Mama was in Aricept. The Dr told us it will mildly slow down the disease. It gave Mama horrible smelling poops 💩 so we took her off. Nothing will Stop the disease so let them be.

posted 4 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

I understand what you’re saying. Even if they were to find a cure, it would only be for those with mild symptoms. They cannot reverse the damage done to the brain.
Something my husband is taking helps with his meltdowns. I can handle just about anything but those are hard on both of us.

posted 4 months ago
A myALZteam Member said:

I personally don’t like giving them to my husband, but…he recently was in the hospital for 3 days and they didn’t give him any of his meds. So when he came home I decided to not give them to him either. He did pretty good for about a week and then the meltdowns started up again. I couldn’t handle seeing him going through that again so I put him back on his meds. I decided seeing him sleeping a lot was much better that watching him have multiple meltdowns daily.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it depends on the individual and what you are trying to accomplish with the meds. Some meds control aggressive behaviors. No one should have to suffer any more than absolutely necessary. The patient nor the caregiver.

posted 4 months ago
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