Alzheimer’s disease is something that everyone is scared to get. It’s a type of dementia that causes memory, thinking, and behavior problems. Symptoms usually develop slowly and worsen over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Learning you or your loved one has it can be devastating. Unfortunately, there is no one test to diagnose Alzheimer’s and no cure, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms. For a bit of help, below are five Alzheimer’s medications prescribed by doctors to manage symptoms.
Aricept is an oral medication used to treat Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. It’s part of a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors that are also used to treat other conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and Huntington’s disease.
While it doesn’t cure Alzheimer’s disease, Aricept can help improve memory, attention, and the ability to function. It may also help reduce agitation and aggression in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Aricept is an enzyme blocker that restores the balance of a chemical called acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is essential for learning and memory. Your dosage will be based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For a supply of 30 tablets, the cost of Aricept could go as high as $542. But you can lower your Aricept cost by using a pharmacy discount card from Buzzrx Discount App
Memantine is another FDA-approved drug to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. It works by blocking the action of glutamate, a neurotransmitter involved in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that helps with learning and memory. However, too much glutamate can be harmful. Why? Too much glutamate can overstimulate nerve cells and cause them to die when there’s too much glutamate. And this is called excitotoxicity, and it plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease.
Memantine works by blocking the action of glutamate. As a result, it protects nerve cells from excitotoxicity and death, improving cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
You can take this drug as syrup or pill, and the dose is started low and increased gradually over a period of weeks or months. Common side effects include headache, dizziness, confusion, and fatigue.
Note that memantine is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and it does not work for everyone. However, it may help improve symptoms in some people with the condition. If you consider taking this drug, discuss it with your doctor first.
This prescription drug is also used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Exelon works by increasing the levels of a chemical called acetylcholine. This chemical is vital for memory and thinking.
Exelon is available in two forms:
- a capsule
- a patch applied to the skin
The capsules are usually taken once or twice a day with food. The Exelon patch is usually worn for 12 hours and then removed. Then, you can generally apply it to two different body areas on a rotating schedule.
The most common side effects of Exelon are:
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor. They may be able to recommend a different course of treatment.
Antipsychotic medications can help to improve Alzheimer’s disease symptoms by reducing hallucinations, delusions, and agitation. These medications can also help to improve cognitive function and memory.
The most common antipsychotic drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease are haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), and olanzapine (Zyprexa). Unfortunately, while antipsychotic medications can effectively treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, they can also cause side effects.
The most common side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, and dizziness. Antipsychotic medications can also increase the risk of falls and fractures.
If you consider taking antipsychotic medication for Alzheimer’s disease, talking to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits is essential.
Benzodiazepines are part of a class of drugs commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and muscle spasms. These medications can help people with Alzheimer’s disease by reducing anxiety and agitation.
The drug relaxes the muscles, which can reduce the feeling of anxiety. It also has a sedative effect, which can help people with insomnia. Benzodiazepines can also help to control seizures.
Some side effects are associated with benzodiazepines, including drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. These drugs can also interact with other medications. Some people may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking benzodiazepines. These symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and nausea. If you are thinking about stopping your medication, it is vital to talk to your doctor first.
While there’s still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, many medications can help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease. But before starting any medication, it’s essential to talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits.