There is no cure for dementia. However, there are steps you can take to help manage your condition and live well with your diagnosis.
There are medications that can help to manage symptoms. They do not cure dementia and they do not work for everyone. However, for some people they are helpful in managing symptoms and in some cases slow down the progression of dementia.
The main drugs used include donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine. These are the chemical names for the drugs, the prescription may also have a trade name on the pack.
In general these drugs are used for people with Alzheimer’s disease, they may also in some cases be used with people with Lewbody dementia and Vascular Dementia.
People with Vascular dementia may be prescribed medications to help to manage underlying conditions such as blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart or stroke problems.
Drugs for managing symptoms & behaviours
There is also a range of medications that could be prescribed to relieve symptoms that affect behaviour and personality or depression. These medications include sleeping tablets, tranquillisers, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depressants.
Not every person with dementia will need these medications and there are other
methods to help manage these symptoms. Some people may need medication for a short period of time.
A decision to prescribe these medications should involve a full assessment of your physical health and well being.
Talk to your doctor who will work with you to help to identify what is triggering a behaviour or symptom. There are lots of ways to manage symptoms and behaviours that may emerge, medication is one option which may or may not be suitable. If you are taking medication, ask your pharmacist to help you keep track or log onto www.dontforget.ie