Is the Alzheimer Patch Better Than a Pill?

It's believed that the medication Exelon is somewhat successful at treating the early stages of Alzheimer dementia. It helps to protect the brain's cognitive abilities and slows the progression of the disease. Today, many patients are being offered Exelon in the form of an Alzheimer patch rather than a pill and there are a few reasons why a caregiver might prefer the patch over the pill.

For one thing, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea were reported as common side effects of Exelon. Using the Alzheimer patch seems to cut down on these side effects, as the medication is more easily absorbed into the system and does not wreak such havoc with the digestive system. It may also help the medication to work as it retains its full potency. When any medication is taken orally, it gets broken down in the stomach and goes through a partial digestive process before it is absorbed in the bloodstream. To counteract this, oral medications are usually stronger than any other form, and have a greater tendency toward side effects. They also take longer to reach the intended area of the body that they need to affect. An Alzheimer patch does not need to go through the digestive system this way. It can be better absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin and starts to work almost immediately.

There are also practical reasons for choosing the Alzheimer patch over pills. Most Exelon patches need to be adhered only once per day. This makes it easier for the patient who may suffer from lapses in memory and is not sure if they have taken their pills, or who may have difficulty remembering to take them at a certain time. They are easier to manage physically than pills themselves, as Alzheimer patients often have difficulty with swallowing. Also, caregivers do not need to worry if the medication has been administered to their patient or not. They can easily check the Alzheimer patch on their patient and see if it is new or needs replacing.

Side effects for the Alzheimer patch seem to be minimal, and don't typically cause skin problems. There is still some nausea with some patients, but only about one-third the number of those who report nausea with the pills. All in all, most patients and caregivers seem to prefer the use of the Alzheimer patch over the pills.