aricept/namenda: cold turkey or taper off?

  1. Hi, asking the question to find out in your facilties, when a resident is on aricept and/or namenda and it is no longer giving the resident any benefit, do you taper the resident off or just quit cold turkey? Its a bif issue for us right now. One of our MD likes to pull both drugs and we see a HUGE difference in mental status/ physical decline. Any imput would be helpful!
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    About blue280

    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 78; Likes: 4
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in geriatrics


  3. by   TopazLover
    Sometimes MDs will stop Aricept and continue Namenda based on the on label use. We know we will see immediate decline. The up side is that we have improved life for that person by up to 3 years by use of one and then both. I never recall a taper on either.

    I look forward to others answers.
  4. by   bcoaggiemom09
    If the decision is made to take a person off either/both of these drugs, for that person's benefit it would probably be best tapered. The problem with dc'ing these meds is this: Although there may be no noticeable benefit to continuing them, if the med(s) are stopped, there will be a decline. Family members will likely be surprised at the degree of decline and may wish to reinstate the med(s). Unfortunately, this will not bring the person back to the level they were at immediately prior to dc'ing the med(s). Once that decline has occurred, they will not rebound. I have had several families say they didn't feel the med(s) were helping their family member anymore and ask if they can be dc'd. When I explain the above to them, almost without exception they decide to continue the med(s).

    Hope this helps a little.
  5. by   Lexxie
    One of the docs at my facility likes to taper off Namenda. Aricept usually seems to just be d/c'd.