Dementia is a common issue that many elderly patients are facing. The term dementia is typically used to describe a decline in thinking skills or memory. In its most severe versions, it can interfere with activities of daily living. There are several medications that can be taken to treat dementia. Let’s discuss some of them here.

Cholinesterase inhibitors

When a patient takes a cholinesterase inhibitor, a chemical in his or her brain called acetylcholine is increased. This chemical assists in judgment and memory. When these drugs are taken, it may prevent dementia-related symptoms from worsening. It may also delay them. There are some side effects to be worried about including dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Commonly prescribed cholinesterase inhibitors include:

  • Galantamine (Razadyne)
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon)
  • Donepezil (Aricept)

Memantine

Often prescribed in combination with one of the above drugs, memantine also acts on chemicals in the brain in order to delay the symptoms of dementia from progressing to moderate to severe. Drugs like Namzaric combine cholinesterase inhibitors with memantine. The common side effects include confusion, dizziness, cough, constipation, headache, high blood pressure, infection wit the flu, and diarrhea.

Are dementia drugs effective?

It depends on the situation and the person, but dementia drugs can be very effective. They are, however, less effective over a longer period of time.

The best thing to do if you or someone you love is suffering from dementia is to speak with your physician. He or she can help you to figure out the best combination of medications you should be taking.