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What exactly is an Exelon patch supposed to do?


I give out a lot of Exelon patches at my nursing home. I mean every other resident gets one, and yet I have never seen anyone actually improve. In fact, I've never seen any changes whatsoever in anyone I've ever put one on. I know they are used for Alzheimer's patients but what exactly do they do, and how are they supposed to do it?

Is this another thing doctor's do for fear of being accused of not doing enough? You know, like giving vitamins to someone in the fetal position? Along with Vitamin C, iron, all the B vitamins, and all the other meds that take an hour to draw up only to have the little old lady spit them right back out? Another exercise in futility?


Specializes in ER.

An Exelon Patch is designed to make lots of profit for Novartis, the maker of Exelon.


Specializes in LTC.

Pretty much. I have only one resident on Exelon and nothing helps him. Seroquel helped for a little while but it is losing its effectiveness.

Nascar nurse, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC & Hospice. Has 35 years experience.

An Exelon Patch is designed to make lots of profit for Novartis, the maker of Exelon.


roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

An Alzheimer patient's "progress" can be measured in lack of deterioration. I doubt that anyone ever expects improvement in those patients. Perhaps the fact that you've noticed no change in your patients' conditions is attributable to Exelon?

My family member with Alzheimers has been stable for 5 years on Exelon. We're very, very grateful for that "progress."

I really don't see any difference in the rate of deterioration of the Exelon patients and any other. I just can't see that it does any good.

lovingtheunloved, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care. Has 12 years experience.

Every patient progresses at a different rate, the signs and behaviors manifest just a little bit different in everyone. I've seen some live with dementia for 20 years, and some die within a year of diagnosis. (Not from other medical problems, but from end stage Alzheimer's.) A slowing of deterioration can't be objectively measured. I've read many of the reports of clinical trials, and they rely heavily on the input of families, and families are certainly not objective. Drugs like this extend a ray of hope to families, and it's a false hope. A false hope that costs a lot of money. Dementia progresses, and we can't stop it. The disease reaches a point where the patient is happy as a lark, and the families are the ones suffering, and they yearn for something that promises to bring their loved one back. Unfortunately drug companies capitalize on that hope.

Well I am a nurse on an Alzheimer/Dementia unit and I love the Exelon patch! It does not help everyone, but it takes place of Namenda and Aricept, so that helps with the residents that hate taking pills. Also we have found it helps with the "want to go home" behavior that so many of our dear residents have. I currently have 5 people on it right now (we have suggested it after other treatments fail) and it helps calm them but it doesn't effect their ambulation or participation in activities.