Pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer
Pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a common among the old. The condition progressively limits the cognitive capacity of a person, which leads to reduced functions, including memory, thinking, and coordination of body parts. In the quest to make the lives of the old people better, pharmacological treatments of the symptoms associated with the condition are administered. There are different drugs used depending on the stage of the condition, but the commonly used are the acetylcholine derivatives and Sedative-hypnotic agents. Although the drugs are meant to make the lives of the old better, these drugs lead to adverse health effects. This aims to discuss the major drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and the possible adverse effects.
The use of drugs to treat and manage the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease depends on the cognition of the patient. As people age, their memory and thinking capacities decline, which necessitates the use of medications to maintain these important aspects. In this case, the use of medication starts when there is declined cognitive functions of a person (Budson & Solomon, 2015). The most commonly used drugs for treating the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s diseases are the second-generation acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), for example, donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine. The three drugs are used to treat mild to moderate symptoms of the condition (Bianchetti, Ranieri, Margiotta, & Trabucchi, 2004).
For the late stage Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, the most common drugs used are Antidepressants, benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, and antihistamines. These drugs are mostly for the management of insomnia, other sleep disorders, and anxiety (Deschenes & McCurry, 2009). The daily intake of the drugs ranges from 10 milligrams to 24 milligrams depending on the drug used and the stage of the condition. The use of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors is based on the conclusion that there is a decline in the production of acetylcholine with age. This chemical is important in the transmission of impulses. Memantine, a non-competitive glutamate receptor, is also a common drug used for treating Alzheimer’s disease (Massoud & Léger, 2011).
The drugs used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease usually have severe side effects. The most common are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, and anorexia. The side effects manifest as long as the patient is taking the medication, but they may also be experienced when the patient stop using them (Mossoud & Léger, 2011). Side effects of these drugs make the lives of the old people worse, which may necessitate the use of other intervention strategies, for example, vitamin supplements to address the undesirable manifestations. According to the National Institute of Aging (2015), it is important to keep observing the old people taking medications to manage the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease to detect any unusual behaviors. This is important to ensure that the old people remain healthy as they deal with the age-related conditions.
In conclusion, there is a need to address the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease to make the lives of the old people better. This is done through medications that are mostly made of acetylcholine. These drugs help the old, but they also have undesirable side effects that may make the lives of these people worse. It is important to find ways to manage such effects to improve the lives of these people. Vitamin supplements play an important role in managing such effects. There is a need to keep observing the old people taking the medications always to ensure that they are doing well. The information about the medications taken to manage the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease and the possible consequences is important to the relatives of such individuals and caregivers to improve their life in the old age.
Bianchetti, A., Ranieri, P., Margiotta, A., & Trabucchi, M. (2004). Pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 18(2), 158-162.
Budson, A.E., & Solomon, P.R. (2015). Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Dementia: A Practical Guide for Clinicians. Edinburg, United Kingdom: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Deschenes, C.L., & McCurry, S.M. (2009). Current Treatments for Sleep Disturbances in Individuals With Dementia. Current Psychiatry Reports, 11(1), 20–26.
Massoud, F., & Léger, G, C. (2011). Pharmacological treatment of Alzheimer disease. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 56(10), 579-88.
National Institute of Aging. (2015). Alzheimer’s Disease Medications Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet
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