my mom's doc wants to put her on aricept, even though she has severe COPD. what do you think?
the doctors at public citizen warn against it because of the modest benefit, many side effects, and high price. even in the monograph on medscape, the APA says no drugs is often the best way to go. so far i have been able to prevent aricept use, but the doctor is adamant, as if i am questioning his judgment. do you think i am seeing drug company influence? by the way, if my mom has alzheimers, it's mild for now. she takes her pills my sister puts in a pillbox for her. she doesn't neglect personal habits. she does forget things that have happened recently and makes up stuff to cover for it.
I am sorry but I can't be of much help here because I do not know a complete medical history of the patient (your mom).
COPD and dementia are 2 different animals and my advice is to trust the physician who is trying to prescribe them for your mom.
It is true that Aricept does not work on everyone. It is also true that there are side effects to any drug. Ask as many questions as you can to the doctor to weigh the potential benefit of that drug for your mother.
The doctor may also have choices in prescribing Namenda and/or Exelon for dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Again...there side effects to consider. WEIGH THEM CAREFULLY.
You can also go to my website www.TheAlzheimersDoc.com and read the free download on Alzheimer's nutritional supplements.
ALWAYS consult a physician who is familiar with Alzheimer's and it's treatment before you decide on ANY course of action.
Your knowledge in the medical field is something that cannot be discounted in this situation. You are educated and a doctor, even if not currently practicing. Your gut is saying something to you. Don't ignore your gut! It is more difficult because with your mom, you do not want to feel any guilt and you are so afraid of doing more harm. I understand that, but at the same time, do not doubt your instincts. They are the best!
I did a little bit of research about aricept and was not surprised to learn that the inert ingredients cause many of the problems associated with the drug. I not only relied on patient reviews, but many on-line drug sites. COPD, itself, can cause or exacerbate dementia and it sounds like your mom hasn't been diagnosed with Alzheimer's yet and to try a drug with so many side effects and the distinct possibility that the drug may itself increase the dementia symptoms sounds like it may be unwise. You know that I am not a doctor, but have clinical experience, dealing almost exclusively with senior citizens.
I think your reservations about the use of the drug are warranted and believe firmly that your instincts in this case are good! You and I both know the effects of drug company influence. That influence has killed many patients.
Finally, if this were your patient and not your mom, what would you do? Trust yourself and your training!
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