Donepezil and Activities of Daily Living

Even at the more advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), donepezil (Aricept medication, Eisai) can enhance quality of life for both patients and caregivers, according to a study of patients with moderate-to-severe AD.

Treatment with donepezil (5 mg/day for four weeks and 10 mg/day, subject to the clinician’s judgment, thereafter) significantly slowed a decline in performing instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., housekeeping), and in completing basic activities (e.g., dressing and bathing). By week 24, caregivers of the drug donepezil patients were spending nearly an hour less each day helping patients than were caregivers of patients in the placebo group.