Today, no treatment can stop Alzheimer’s disease. However, four drugs are used to treat symptoms of the disease. They may help to maintain critical thinking, memory, and speaking skills and as well as help with some behavioral problems for a limited time. These Alzheimer’s drugs work by regulating certain chemicals in the brain.
For people with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s, donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®), or galantamine (Razadyne®) may help prevent some symptoms from becoming worse for a limited time. Donepezil is also approved for symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. Another drug, memantine (Namenda®), is used in treating symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, although it is also limited in its effects.
All of these Alzheimer’s medications have potential side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. You should report any unusual symptoms to a doctor right away. It is important to follow a doctor’s instructions exactly when taking any medication.