Daily Archives: July 13, 2013

Medicines Being Used for Alzheimer’s

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), there are currently four medications approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to help ease AD symptomsThese include Donepezil, Galantamine, Memantine, and Rivastigmine. However, their effectiveness can vary from person to person and diminish over time.

There also are other medications, not specifically developed for AD, which may be prescribed to help alleviate some symptoms associated with AD. These include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, sleep aids, and antipsychotics. Here is a summary of these commonly prescribed medications for AD.

Medicines Used to Help Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Generic Name (Brand Name Example) Medication Use
Donepezil (Aricept) Used to delay or slow the symptoms of AD. • loses its effect over time • used for mild, moderate and severe AD
Galantamine (Razadyne) Used to prevent or slow the symptoms of AD. • loses its effect over time • used for mild to moderate AD • comes in in pill form or as a skin patch
Memantine (Namenda) Used to delay or slow the symptoms of AD. • loses its effect over time • used for moderate to severe AD • sometimes given with Aricept, Exelon, or Razadyne
Rivastigmine (Exelon)

Used to prevent or slow the symptoms of AD. • loses its effect over time • used for mild to moderate AD • comes in pill form or as a skin patch

Citalopram (Celexa) Used to reduce depression and anxiety. • may take four to six weeks to work • sometimes used to help people get to sleep
Sodium valproate (Depakote) Used to treat severe aggression. • also used to treat depression and anxiety

Mirtazepine (Remeron)

Used to reduce depression and anxiety. • may take four to six weeks to work • sometimes used to help people get to sleep

Carbamazepine (Tegretol) Used to treat seizures • also used to treat depression and anxiety

Sertraline (Zoloft)

Used to reduce depression and anxiety. • may take four to six weeks to work • sometimes used to help people get to sleep

Written by Wendy Leonard, MPH | Medically Reviewed by Jennifer
Monti, MPH, MD