How is Alzheimer's disease currently being treated
Medicines from the group of active substances called cholinesterase inhibitors are intended to stimulate the exchange of information between the nerve cells in the brain. This is supposed to alleviate the symptoms of dementia. They are approved for the treatment of mild and moderate Alzheimer's dementia. There are currently three cholinesterase inhibitors on the market in Germany: donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine. They are taken as tablets. Rivastigmine is also available as a patch, the active ingredient of which gets into the body through the skin.
Cholinesterase inhibitors can slightly delay the decline in mental performance. So far we know that some people with dementia can remember things a little better as a result. It is still unclear whether one of the three remedies works better than the others.
It has not been proven that people who take a cholinesterase inhibitor can cope with their everyday life for a little longer. It is also unclear whether the funds
- can improve the quality of life,
- relieve or relieve accompanying psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety
- Delay the point in time from which full inpatient care (care in the home) is necessary.
The active ingredient donepezil works even in low doses - galantamine and rivastigmine, on the other hand, only in medium or higher doses. All three substances can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness or diarrhea. The higher the dose, the more frequently they occur. Depending on the active ingredient, around 1 to 3 in 10 people feel sick from the drug or they have to vomit.
Rivastigmine patches come in different dosages. For the patch, in contrast to the dosage form as a capsule, there is only one indication that it improves mental performance. However, this only applies to the higher dosage at which the patch releases 9.5 mg of rivastigmine per 24 hours. Most side effects occur with the same frequency, regardless of whether they are used as a patch or when taken as a capsule. However, the patch leads to gastrointestinal problems less often than the capsule. However, it can cause skin problems such as itching and redness.
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