What Are The Withdrawal Symptoms Of Abruptly Stopping Aricept?


4 Answers

Sam Easterbrook Profile
Sam Easterbrook answered
By stopping the drug Aricept, the patient is vulnerable to withdrawal symptoms which entail their condition of Alzheimer’s disease beginning to deteriorate rapidly over a short period of around four to six weeks. Eventually the lack of using the drug results in their symptoms becoming no more improved than a person who had never taken the medication, and in fact it is suggested that the suffers wouldn’t show signs that they had ever taken the drug at all. Some people whom family members have suffered with the withdrawal symptoms have reported that the patient becomes extremely angry and paranoid upon stopping the drug Aricept. However, it has also been said that despite the subsequent loss of control over Alzheimer's disease, there are no withdrawal symptoms and the drug can be stopped at any time. It is considered that one of the best treatments available for Alzheimer's disease is the Aricept drug and it is said to help slow down diminishing functioning and improve the cognition ability of Alzheimer’s suffers. Aricept, which was developed by Eisai and Pfizer and is mainly used as a therapeutic treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Aricept is the trade name for the active ingredient Donepezil Hydrochloride, a type of medicine called an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, also known as AChE. The drug is used to slow down the breakdown of acetylcholine that is released from remaining undamaged nerve cells in the brain in an Alzheimer’s disease suffer. Acetylcholine in the brain is continually being released by nerve cells, and then broken down by another natural chemical called acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholine is a natural compound known as a neurotransmitter, which is stored in nerve cells in the brain and nervous system, and is involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells, which is responsible for the brain and nervous system functioning processes.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My mother in law became angry and paranoid when we stopped Aricept.  In having conversations with others who had elderly parents who were taking Aricept, we have learned that it is fairly common to have very bad symptoms when it's withdrawn - anger and paranoia being common.
Lily James Profile
Lily James answered

Aricept is one of the best treatments available for Alzheimer's disease. It is considered as the only effective treatment for all stages of Alzheimer. It is said to improve cognition and slow down of loss of functioning ability.

Aricept is an anticholinesterases. It is said to have no withdrawal symptoms in someone who has been using it. So you can stop taking this medicine anytime you want. However, eventually you will experience problems with control of your disease if you do this.

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

Our family's experience completely contradicts that there are no withdrawal symptoms after stopping donepezil (Aricept).  He was prescribed Aricept because he had mild memory loss with full recognition of his immediate family, hence, this medication is the 'norm' as an option to attempt to slow down the rate of memory loss, etc.  Unfortunately, sometimes a Dr orders to cease the medication if side effects occur and increase in severity over a period of weeks.  This happened to my father and an in-law of ours.  Their withdrawal symptoms were nearly identical:  Slurred speech, lethargy, hallucinations, stomach pains, secondary infections of bladder and water in the lungs - which only worsened over the days, and within 2 weeks he passed away  - google the internet and you will see that these are severe effects of the drug and it's withdrawal.  Many drugs have such effects - even antibiotics.  When the Good Lord calls you, it's your time - no matter the efforts we may take.  Thankfully, his passing was sudden and 'comfortable' as he refused 'intubation', which tends to scar and inflame the lung tissues, and typically creates dependency on mechanical ventilation to sustain life - rather, my father accepted 'comfort oxygen', BUT make no misunderstanding of what happened - he did NOT have any of these symptoms BEFORE taking the drug - his driving was revoked a week or two before taking the drug as he failed a memory test (at our request), and functioning independently even a week before taking the drug - UNFORTUNATLEY, his body type rejected the drug and he passed away due to complications related to its withdrawal, including the documented tendency for withdrawal of donepezil to ACCELERATE rapidly symptoms of Alzheimers.  The blessing in disguise is that our beloved father, who was a man of dignity, was spared the long term debilitating effects of Alzheimers, as was his wife, children and grandchildren whom he knew and remembered till his last day with us.  I share this with others only to advise families to PLEASE inform yourselves FULLY about whatever drugs you or your family member may take, so that you may recognize side effects, when to call a doctor, and ALSO what are the effects and possible consequences of withdrawal in such cases - and have a living will or medical order - this way there is dignity and respect for all - in the way we were all intended to live and die - naturally. 

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