Whileno cure or totally effective medication has yet been created, there are anumber of memory loss medications with FDA approval and on the market at thistime. These medications can only help manage the symptoms and, in few cases,slow down the rate of progression of the disease. (alzheimers.ie) However, these medications can be unpopularbecause of their unpleasant side effects which can be particularly tough onolder people with the disease. (National institute of aging, 2017)Current medications on the market in the United States of America: Generic name Brand name Approved for Donepezil Aricept All stages Galantamine Razadyne Mild to moderate Revastigmine Exelon Mild to moderate Memantine Namenda Moderate to severe Donepezil + Memantine Namzaric Moderate to severe (alz.org) Thefirst three drugs on this list, Donepezil, Galantamine and Revastigmine are allfrom a class of drugs which are called acetylcholinesteraseinhibitor.
Cholinesterase inhibitors are drugs that stop or impede enzymes from breakingdown acetylcholine when it is transported from one cell to another. This meansthat the acetylcholine, which is in short supply in people with Alzheimer’sdisease, is not destroyed so quickly and there is more chance of it beingpassed on to the next nerve cell. Cholinesterase inhibitors result in higherconcentrations of acetylcholine, leading to increased communication betweennerve cells, which in turn, may temporarily improve or stabilise the symptomsof dementia. Some people who take cholinesterase inhibitors experienceside-effects. Side-effects from these drugs are most common when someone firstadministers them but, fortunately, they often settle down with time.
The mostlikely side effects are diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, loweredblood pressure, insomnia, fatigue and loss of appetite. Other reported sideeffects include falls and dizziness. If the dose is increased gradually thelikelihood of side effects is lower. Caution is required in people with a historyof peptic ulcers, asthma, liver or kidney disease, or a very slow heart rate.The type and rate of side effects vary depending on the drug prescribed and onthe individual response of the person. It is recommended that this issue bediscussed with your doctor. (dementia australia, 2006) Bibliography alz.
org. (n.d.). Medications for memory loss. Retrieved from alz.org: https://www.alz.
org/alzheimers_disease_standard_prescriptions.asp alzheimers.ie. (n.d.). Treating dementia. Retrieved from alzheimers.
ie: https://www.alzheimer.ie/Living-with-dementia/I-have-Dementia/Treatments.aspx dementia australia.
(2006). Drug treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Retrieved from https://www.
dementia.org.au/files/helpsheets/Helpsheet-DementiaQandA01-CholinesteraseInhibitors_english.pdf National institute of aging. (2017, may 18). How is alzheimer’s disease treated. Retrieved from nia.
gov/health/how-alzheimers-disease-treated Picture references:Fig.1 What are Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Retrievedfrom https://peaknootropics.com/using-acetylcholinesterase-inhibitors-nootropics/