Aricpet Question

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RollTideFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 9/6/2015 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi! I am seeking advice from anyone who has experience with Aricept. My Mother has not been formally diagnosed with Dementia but she does have bad short term memory and she is aware she does.

She recently spent 5 days in ICU with 2 blood clots and just got home from 21 day of physical therapy at our local nursing home. She is diabetic and having to take insulin, has ulcerative colitis, and severe osteoarthritis in both knees. She is 83 years old.

I just switched her to a new PCP who we saw on Friday and just casually said Mom could use some memory pills just to get his reaction. He immediately prescribed Aricept. Her previous PCP just said to have her take a Vitamin B Complex and dismissed anything other than that for her forgetfulness.

I've read about some bad side effects and now I am not so sure I even want to start her on this med! I would sure appreciate anyone's opinion as I am just on the fence about her taking this drug right now.

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 595
   Posted 9/6/2015 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
My mother has been on Aricept for about 8 years and I do believe it's helping her. She started with 5 mg. and the doctor switched her to 10 mg after a couple of years. On the higher dose she complained of having strange dreams when she took the Aricept before bed, so now she takes it in the morning or afternoon and doesn't complain about her dreams anymore.

A while back I saw a study that followed patients on Aricept for several years and patients who had been on it but discontinued using it. The patients who stayed on Aricept fared much better than those who had stopped taking it. It doesn't stop Alzheimer's from progressing but it progresses more slowly.

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers 8 years ago - I thought by now she'd be in much worse shape than she is.
Her short term memory is terrible but she gets by in an independent retirement home with help from me and caregivers that visit twice a day, so all things considered, I am thankful.

You should have your mother's vitamin D level checked - I read somewhere that low vitamin D is linked to cognitive impairment. My mother's was very low (21) and now with prescription level D it's up to 46. Maybe that's helping her, too.

Since your mother has ulcerative colitis (I have that too and know what a horrible disease it is) make sure the Aricept is safe for her to take with that and there are no interactions with her other medications.

I'm sure you know not to give her Aleve or Advil for her knees as that will make her ulcerative colitis worse. My mother also has a bad knee. I bought Biofreeze cream and that seems to help her somewhat.

My advice to you is to definitely try the Aricept, and also check her vitamin D levels. Good luck to you and your mom!
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use Bentyl, peppermint oil capsules and Gas-X which all help with various UC symptoms during a flare.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum).

RollTideFan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 9/7/2015 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for your reply. My one worry about this medicine is the side effect of an upset stomach. Her ulcerative colitis has been under control for several years with not one flare up so I don't want anything to change that. She is continuing to get physical therapy at home for several weeks and I think I will wait for her to get stronger before starting her on the aricept. Thanks again, your reply has been very helpful.

Alice22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 595
   Posted 9/7/2015 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I understand your concern - you're smart to be cautious. I'm sure you'll make the right decisions for her. Best wishes!
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 1998. On Remicade since 2005 for both diseases. For UC tried sulfasalazine, Lialda, colazal and others which made me ill. Started 50 mg. Imuran July 2015. Use Bentyl, peppermint oil capsules and Gas-X which all help with various UC symptoms during a flare.

Caregiver for mother with Alzheimer's Disease (for Alz. forum).
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