The Dementia Medications With the Deadliest Side Effects

A dementia diagnosis can be frightening. There are many things your doctor will ask you or your family member to do to manage symptoms. One of those steps will likely involve taking medications. Although some of these medications can help you control dementia symptoms, there can be concerning side effects.

Here are the dementia medications with the deadliest side effects.

Aricept

An opened packet of Aricept. | Cate Gillon/Getty Images

Aricept is also known by the generic name Donepezil. Some serious side effects associated with this medication include black stools, trouble urinating, severe stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, and seizures. Less severe side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite/weight loss, dizziness, and weakness. These less severe effects usually last from roughly one to three weeks.

Next: You might start seeing and hearing things when you take this drug.

Namenda Solution

care giver assisting a woman with a walker

Namenda solution can make a bad situation worse. | Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Namenda Solution is also known by the generic name Memantine. Some serious side effects associated with this medication include shortness of breath and hallucination. Other side effects include confusion, dizziness, aggression, constipation, nausea, vomiting, cough, headache, fatigue, depression, and diarrhea.

Next: Watch out for these signs and symptoms.

Exelon Patch

An all gender rest room sign next to a bathroom door

Exelon could lead to trouble in the bathroom. | ciud/ Getty Images

The Exelon patch is also known by the generic name Rivastigmine. Serious side effects associated with this medication include trouble urinating, slow or irregular heartbeat, fainting, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, bloody vomit, bloody stools, severe stomach/abdominal pain, and seizures.

Next: Your heartbeat could be affected.

Razadyne

heart monitor

Razadyne can dangerously lower your heartbeat. | Evryka23/iStock/Getty Images

Razadyne is also known by the generic name Galantamine. Serious side effects associated with this medication include unusually slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, blood in the urine, fainting, and difficult urination. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Next: This medicine could cause hallucinations.

Rivastigmine Tartrate Solution

This drug can cause dementia patients to hallucinate. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Serious side effects associated with this drug include hearing voices or seeing things that do not exist, depression, anxiety, slow/irregular heartbeat, aggressive behavior, severe stomach/abdominal pain, fainting, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, bloody vomit, seizures, and trouble urinating.

Next: This drug could cause breathing difficulty.

Namzaric

Two trees in the shape of a human head and brain as a symbol of the strLiving With A Dementia Patientess

This drug can cause a number of dangerous side effects. | iStock.com/wildpixel

Namzaric is a combination of the generic drugs memantine and donepezil. Serious side effects of this drug include fast, slow or irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, and seizures. There is also a possibility of allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction include swelling of the tongue and throat, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, hives, and rash.

Next: Your heart health could be at risk if you take this drug.

Ergoloid Mesylates

Senior woman in hospital

Ergoloid can have serious side effects. | iStock.com/shironosov

This medication is known by the brand name Hydergine and the generic name ergoloid. Some serious side effects associated with this medication are fainting and slow heartbeat. Other side effects patients may encounter are trouble breathing, blurred vision, rash, itching, vomiting, feeling lightheaded, loss of appetite, and irritation under the tongue.

Next: Overdose is possible with this drug.

Rivastigmine Patch

It’s possible to overdose on Rivastigmine. | Mike Simons/Getty Images

Serious side effects that may occur after taking the Rivastigmine patch are slow/irregular heartbeat, fainting, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe stomach/abdominal pain, seizures, and trouble urinating. Overdose is also possible. Signs of overdose include sweating, difficulty breathing, nausea, dizziness, and increased saliva.

Next: Watch out for changes in your mental health.

Namenda XR

MRI brain scan

Namenda XR can cause hallucinations. | iStock.com/Movus

Serious side effects that may occur after taking Namenda XR include mood changes such as depression and aggression. Other serious side effects include shortness of breath, and hallucination (seeing or hearing things that do not exist). Patients may also experience stomach pain, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of bladder control.

Next: This drug could cause intestinal bleeding.

Memantine-Donepezil Capsule

elderly man with backache

This drug can cause back pain. | iStock.com/SIphotography

Serious side effects of taking a memantine-donepezil capsule include stomach or intestinal bleeding. Signs include black/bloody stools, vomit that contains blood or looks like coffee grounds, and stomach/abdominal pain. Patients may also experience mood changes (such as depression or aggression) and have difficulty urinating. Other side effects include bruising, drowsiness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, increased weight, loss of bladder control, back pain, headache, and dizziness.

Next: You could experience several problems with this drug.

Exelon Oral

Bored senior man watching tv

This drug can cause depression. | littlebee80/iStock/GettyImages

Serious side effects that may occur after taking Exelon oral include slow/irregular heartbeat, fainting, black stools, bloody stools, bloody vomit, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe stomach/abdominal pain, seizures, and trouble urinating. Depression, anxiety, and aggressive behavior may also occur.

Next: Don’t ignore these signs and symptoms.

Galantamine HBR capsule

emergency room sign

This drug could land you in the hospital. | Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

Serious side effects that may occur after taking Galantamine HBR capsule include irregular heartbeat, fainting, shortness of breath, seizures, black/bloody stools, blood in the urine, vomit that looks bloody or like coffee grounds, pain or burning while urinating, and severe stomach/abdominal pain.

Next: Call your doctor right away if you experience these signs or symptoms.

Razadyne ER

woman adjusting a scale

This drug can cause dangerous weight loss. | Tetmc/iStock/Getty Images

Serious side effects include shortness of breath, bloody urine, slowed heartbeat, fainting, black and tarry stools, bloody stools, bloody vomit, vomit that looks like coffee grounds. Other side effects include weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of appetite.

Next: Pay attention to these side effects.

Razadyne oral

close-up of a man clutching his chest to show a heart attack

This drug can cause shortness of breath. | iStock.com

Serious side effects from taking Razadyne oral include unusually slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, black and tarry stools, bloody vomit, bloody stools, fainting, and difficult urination. Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

Next: Seizures are a possibility with this drug.

Donepezil

Side effects include severe stomach pain. | iStock

Serious side effects from taking Donepezil include severe stomach/abdominal pain, trouble urinating, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, and seizures. Other side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite/weight loss, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, trouble sleeping, tremor and muscle cramps.

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