Alzheimers drugs side effects: What side effects could Alzheimers drugs cause?

Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'

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The US has approved Aducanumab, otherwise known as Aduhelm, its first new Alzheimer’s drug in 20 years. Regulators with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said evidence shows it “reduces amyloid-beta plaques in the brain”. The FDA believes it could help improve problems with memory and thinking, communication and general confusion.

The organisation said in a statement: “Although the Aduhelm data are complicated with respect to its clinical benefits, FDA has determined that there is substantial evidence that Aduhelm reduces amyloid beta plaques in the brain and that the reduction in these plaques is reasonably likely to predict important benefits to patients.

“As a result of FDA’s approval of Aduhelm, patients with Alzheimer’s disease have an important and critical new treatment to help combat this disease.

“FDA will continue to monitor Aduhelm as it reaches the market and ultimately the patient’s bedside. “

And it could soon come to the UK, although limited to people with “specialist” brain scans.

What side effects can Alzheimer’s drugs cause?

Scientists have devised several treatments for Alzheimer’s split across four substances.

Currently available substances include Donepezil, Rivastigmine, Galantamine and Memantine, all of which have varying effects.

The first few are known as “acetylcholinesterase inhibitors”, while Memantine is an “NMDA receptor antagonist”.

The former drugs help with anxiety, memory, concentration and ability to conduct everyday activities.

Memantine should improve memory and their ability to think.

While both medications could go a long way to improving Alzheimer’s patient’s lives, they can come with side effects.

Not everyone will have the same experience, but some may emerge more than others.

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Side effects from acetylcholinesterase inhibitors could include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

Memantine side-effects are both milder and less frequent and may include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness

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