03.30.18 Medicines for Dementia

Image may contain: textFriday, March 30, 2018 – I am very happy to share that the recent increase to the highest dose, of Razadyne (generic is Galantamine) is helping reduce my dementia symptoms!  I’m now on 24 mg. a day which is taken 12 mg. in the morning and 12 mg. in the evening.  Once I got up to the highest dose, I started seeing improvement in my memory of thing’s names and people’s names and in my brain’s ability to think through the steps of how to do things.  Yippeee!!

With this new found freedom I have found I’m pushing it and near the end of the day my brain just say “enough is enough” and starts hiccuping.  I’ll take that and just have to try not to push it to much, just feel happy about this blessing God has given me.

I know it doesn’t stop the disease from progressing but, for now, the quality of my life is better!!!

Galantamine is prescribed for people who have dementia. It is used to help the symptoms which affect thinking, such as memory loss and confusion. Galantamine is not a cure, but it can slow down the progression of the symptoms in some people.

In case this is the first blog post you’ve read here, what I’m writing about is the medicine I take for dementia.  I’ve taken Aricept which helped for over 5 years.  Then Namenda was added which helped for a about a year.  I haven’t taken Namzaric which is a combination of Aricept and Namenda because I was already taking the two individual pills at the same time and my insurance paid for the two individual drugs better than the combination in one pill.

Over the last year I started getting lightheaded (seriously lightheaded, not just little oops dizzy).  After eliminating several medicines that I take and adding them back one at a time it was found that Aricept and Namenda were causing the lightheadedness (the table below calls it dizzy).  Then those were eliminated and I was put on the Exelon Patch which also after two weeks caused severe lightheadedness so I was taken off of that one also.  I was off of all for several months.  During that time my symptoms because much worse, quickly.

Recently I started taking Razadyne (Galantamine).  It took 2 months for me to gradually get up to the highest dose which is where I am, and I’m very happy about how it is helping me!

On the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Aging’s website I found a table that explains these drugs:

Aricept (Donepezil)

Exelon patch (Rivastigmine)

Namenda (Memantine)

Namzaric (combination of Namenda and Aricept)

Razadyne (Galantamine).

The table includes information on the Drug Type, How It Works, Side Effects, Recommended Dosage and where to find More Information.  It’s a two part table because it won’t all fit across the webpage without being so small you couldn’t read it.

Unless you or a loved one is living with dementia you probably don’t care about any of this.  I am sharing it because those who are affected need to know why they are taking each of these.  If you aren’t affected I’d like you to understand what the medicines I’m taking or have taken do.

Drug Name Drug Type and Use How It Works Common Side Effects
Aricept® (donepezil)
Cholinesterase inhibitor prescribed to treat symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer’s Prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, fatigue, weight loss
Exelon® (rivastigmine)
Cholinesterase inhibitor prescribed to treat symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s (patch is also for severe Alzheimer’s) Prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine and butyrylcholine (a brain chemical similar to acetylcholine) in the brain Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, indigestion, muscle weakness
Namenda® (memantine)
N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist prescribed to treat symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s Blocks the toxic effects associated with excess glutamate and regulates glutamate activation. Glutamate leads to brain cell death. Dizziness, headache, diarrhea, constipation, confusion
Namzaric® (memantine and donepezil)
NMDA antagonist and cholinesterase inhibitor prescribed to treat symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s Blocks the toxic effects associated with excess glutamate and prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain Headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, anorexia
Razadyne® (galantamine)
Cholinesterase inhibitor prescribed to treat symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine and stimulates nicotinic receptors to release more acetylcholine in the brain Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dizziness, headache
Drug Name Manufacturer’s Recommended Dosage For More Information
Aricept® (donepezil)
  • Tablet*: Initial dose of 5 mg once a day; may increase dose to 10 mg/day after 4-6 weeks if well tolerated, then to 23 mg/day after at least 3 months
  • Orally disintegrating tablet*: Same dosage as above (not available in 23 mg)
For current information about this drug’s safety and use, visit www.aricept.com.
Exelon® (rivastigmine)
  • Capsule*: Initial dose of 3 mg/day (1.5 mg twice a day); may increase dose to 6 mg/day (3 mg twice a day), 9 mg/day (4.5 mg twice a day), and 12 mg/day (6 mg twice a day) at minimum 2-week intervals if well tolerated
  • Patch*: Initial dose of 4.6 mg once a day; may increase dose to 9.5 mg once a day and 13.3 mg once a day at minimum 4-week intervals if well tolerated
For current information about this drug’s safety and use, visit the www.fda.gov/Drugs. Click on “Search Drugs@FDA,” search for Exelon, and click on drug-name links to see label information.
Namenda® (memantine)
  • Tablet*: Initial dose of 5 mg once a day; may increase dose to 10 mg/day (5 mg twice a day), 15 mg/day (5 mg and 10 mg as separate doses), and 20 mg/day (10 mg twice a day) at minimum 1-week intervals if well tolerated
  • Oral solution*: Same dosage as above
  • Extended-release capsule*: Initial dose of 7 mg once a day; may increase dose to 14 mg/day, 21 mg/day, and 28 mg/day at minimum 1-week intervals if well tolerated
For current information about this drug’s safety and use, visit www.namenda.com and www.namendaxr.com. Click on “Full Prescribing Information” to see the drug label.
Namzaric® (memantine and donepezil)
  • Extended-release capsule*: Initial dose of 28 mg memantine/10 mg donepezil once a day if stabilized on memantine and donepezil
  • If stabilized on donepezil only, initial dose of 7 mg memantine/10 mg donepezil once a day; may increase dose to 28 mg memantine/10 mg donepezil in 7 mg increments at minimum 1-week intervals if well tolerated
  • Only 14 mg memantine/10 mg donepezil and 28 mg memantine/10 mg donepezil available as generic
For current information about this drug’s safety and use, visit www.namzaric.com. Click on “Full Prescribing Information” to see the drug label.
Razadyne® (galantamine)
  • Tablet*: Initial dose of 8 mg/day (4 mg twice a day); may increase dose to 16 mg/day (8 mg twice a day) and 24 mg/day (12 mg twice a day) at minimum 4-week intervals if well tolerated
  • Extended-release capsule*: Same dosage as above but taken once a day
For current information about this drug’s safety and use, visit www.janssenmd.com/razadyne. Click on “Full Prescribing Information” to see the drug label.
  • Available as a generic drug.

Well that’s our educational episode for today!

Image may contain: textToday is the day we honor the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  My salvation is because Jesus Christ died on the cross to save me from my sins.  Please, please don’t think this is some blanket coverage.  I am only saved because I have given my life to Jesus, have a personal relationship with him and try my best to live what His will for my life is.  I have a personal relationship with Christ.  Doesn’t mean that if you know of or about Jesus and you’re a good person you are saved.  That does not do it. That is terribly important to understand.  Only turning your life over to him and living for him saves you.  See my brain is thinking pretty clearly right now!

Sunday is Resurrection Sunday the day we honor Jesus rising from the grave and living again for all eternity.  The day that I go to live with Him in Heaven because I am saved is the most beautiful thing to look forward to.  I hope you too have that reassurance.  I’m working on a Resurrection Day blog post.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

cooltext1838781539Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

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