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kettledrum | 09:37 Wed 17th Apr 2024 | Body & Soul
6 Answers

I have a friend (78) who has been diagnosed with dementia. For the last several months she has been using  Rivastigmine patches, which she feels have been very good at stabilising the condition. She ran out a couple of weeks ago & her GP is refusing to give her any more & will give her no reason or explanation, nor has she been prescribed any replacement treatment. My friend feels that now her brain is deteriorating at a frightening rate.
She lives on her own in an isolated farmhouse & is very frightened & lonely.

Before I wade in on her behalf I'd like to know if this is a reasonable action by her GP? Is there any maximum time that a patient should be allowed to be on these patches? Anything else I ought to know?



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Did a quick websearch. Didn't see any time restrictions mentioned. There are side effects and possible complications though. Best simply ask why the doc thinks they are no longer a good idea.

Question Author

Thanks OG. I, too, could see no reason why continued treatment should be withheld, & was hoping someone with (secondhand) experience of this drug could provide some insight into the problem.

I wonder if it is anything to do with cost?

It won't be cost, they are cheap compared to other drugs

Question Author

Thanks Hazlinny & Barry.

Update. I have another email from her. "I do not know where to turn. I hardly ever see the GP. They just send me emails from time to time. These decisions are made without referring to me."

Would it be a good idea to try to make a 'physical in person' appt for her, & possibly be with her when she speaks to the GP? Fortunately I'm in such good health that I have no personal experience of the sort of difficulties many of my friends seem to have.

The last thing I want to do is to antagonise her Medical Centre, & I wonder if they will resent someone intervening on her behalf.

The GP might say only next of kin can be with her. However if she is competent to say she wants you to be with her her wish should be granted. Give it a try and see what happens

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