Feb 18, 2013

Why Doesn't Everyone Over 80 Take Aricept?

I then told him that my mother started on Aricept, and then was put on the combination therapy of Aricept and Namenda. I also told him that our experience with the drugs was very good; but that, this is not always the case.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room


Why Doesn't Everyone Over 80 Take Aricept?
Today, I was talking to an old friend who is actually a very bright and interesting guy.

He contacted me, after a decade, when he learned that my mother lived with Alzheimer's;  and that, I had founded a blog that dealt with issues associated with Alzheimer's and dementia.

The reason for the call is that he now suspects that his mother is suffering from dementia.

I started by asking him a simple question, how old is your mom?

He answered 84 years old.

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I then told him there is about a 30 percent chance of suffering from Alzheimer's or a related dementia at age 80, and a 40-50 percent chance at the age of 85. Like I said very bright guy, but he was not aware of these statistics.

We talked for a while about the testing protocol and then I mentioned that we have a page of self tests that can be used not as a diagnosis but as an assessment. See Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's (5 Best Tests).

We then started talking about medications and treatments. He did know that there is no effective treatment or cure for Alzheimer's.

I then told him that my mother started on Aricept, and then was put on the combination therapy of Aricept and Namenda. I also told him that our experience with the drugs was very good; but that, this is not always the case.

We have lots of articles here on the ARR about these medications. You can search the Knowledge Base to learn more. The search box is on the right hand side of every page.

I also told him how the price of Aricept had fallen from $260 for a 30 day supply to under $9 while my mother was taking the drug. Aricept (the branded name) is now also sold as a generic drug - Donepezil.

I decided to check COSTCOfor current prices.


Wozo, the branded version, Aricept, is now $351 for a 30 day supply. However, the generic, Donepezil, has fallen in price and is now only $25.40 for a 90 day supply. Now, just over $100 a year.

I started this story by telling you that this old friend is a very bright guy.

Near the end of our conversation he asked me a very interesting question. A simple and straightforward question.

He asked if the odds of someone living with Alzheimer's are so high at the age of 80 and older, why doesn't everyone over the age of 80 start taking Aricept.

This is a very good question. Personally, I'll leave this one to the doctors.

However, I can't help but ask - What do you think?

Full Disclosure: I am no affiliated with COSTCO, and this is not a paid advertisement. I used the example for illustration purposes only.

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Bob is a recognized Influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room