WELCOME TO MEDSHADOW. WE'VE UPDATED OUR LOOK!

Dementia Drugs Often Taken Longer Than Evidence Supports

Dementia Drugs Often Taken Longer Than Clinical Evidence Supports
Dementia Drugs Often Taken Longer Than Clinical Evidence Supports

About 70% of people that take a medication for dementia take it for longer than clinical evidence shows the drug is beneficial, increasing the risk for side effects from long-term use.

A new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute examined claims on almost 71,000 Medicare Advantage enrollees who were diagnosed with dementia. About half of them received a medication for dementia. Of those who received a drug, 58% received a cholinesterase inhibitor such as Aricept (donepezil), Razadyne (galantamine) or Exelon (rivastigmine). A third were prescribed a cholinesterase inhibitor and Namenda (memantine) and 8% were prescribed Namenda alone.

Although clinical evidence has demonstrated that these medications may delay cognitive impairment for up to 12 months – while some patients will not see any benefit – there is no evidence that they are effective beyond that timeframe. Yet, 70% of those on a dementia medication in the study were on one for 13 months or more.

The authors noted that cholinesterase inhibitors have been associated with fainting, hip fracture and unusually slow heartbeat. Side effects associated with Namenda include dizziness, confusion, headache, sleepiness, constipation, vomiting, pain (particularly back) and coughing.

“Accessible and up-to-date information on a drug’s effectiveness and side effects is essential to help increase the practice of de-prescribing medications that may no longer be of benefit, or even cause harm,” the researchers conclude.

DISCLAIMER: MedShadow provides information and resources related to medications, their effects, and potential side effects. However, it is important to note that we are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on our site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals dealing with medical conditions or symptoms should seek guidance from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physician or pharmacist, who can provide personalized medical advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented on MedShadow, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for any particular individual's medical needs. Therefore, we strongly encourage users to consult with qualified healthcare professionals regarding any health-related concerns or decisions. By accessing and using MedShadow, you acknowledge and agree that the information provided on the site is not a substitute for professional medical advice and that you should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns.

Was This Article Helpful?

Show Comments (0)
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x