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Have arthritis and hypothyroidism. Prescribed aricept for memory loss and confusion. Is this safe?

Jun 2015
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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 3337 Questions
MY father has been prescribed with 'Aricept' 5mg for some memory loss and confusion he gets sometimes. He suddenly stops recognizing people and the house he lives. Is it ok to use it? He is 90yrs old but very healthy with no complaints except Arthritis and hypo thyroidism. We want to know what is the worst which can happen if we do not use any medication. (afraid after reading side effects)
ust want to add that India doctors already tested him fully. There is no other problem . PL let me know the answers for the above qns

1) Is it ok to use aricept

2) What worst can happen if we do not use any medication. Mostly he is quite active and talks normal and very healthy. He takes care of himself with out any help. ONly certain things seem to be causing him anxiety. He remebers any thing ralatedt o his personal things fully.
Posted Fri, 22 Mar 2013 in Arthritis
Answered by Dr. Polash Sannigrahi 26 minutes later

Thanks for your queries.

1. Aricept is chemically Donepezil, a medication used for symptomatic treatment in mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer's.

Though the studies have shown mixed responses regarding the efficacy of this medication in management of Alzheimer's, the response varies from individual to individual.

And you are right...this medication has many side effects.
Hence, it is to be used with caution.

As I have already mentioned, the beneficial effect of this medication shows individual variation, so, it will be better to use it & see for any improvement in symptoms.

If no positive result is obtained, then this medication can be stopped & substituted with another preparation under the guidance of the treating physician.

2. Regarding your second query, I am sorry to say that Alzheimer cannot be cured.
All the medical management is directed towards preventing the further worsening of the condition.
If no medications are given, then the progression of neurological damage cannot be prevented.
Resulting in worsening of symptoms.

So, kindly consult the treating physician & discuss regarding this matter.

Hope I have been able to answer your queries.
Please let me know if I need to clarify further.

Wishing your father a Good Health.
Thanks & take care.
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