The Impact of a Long-Term Rivastigmine and Donepezil Treatment on All-Cause Mortality in Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease

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Abstract

Cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) are the mainstays of symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD); however, their efficacy is limited, and their use was associated with deaths in some groups of patients. The aim of the current study was to assess the impact of the long-term use of ChEIs on mortality in patients with AD. This observational, longitudinal study included 1171 adult patients with a diagnosis of AD treated with donepezil or rivastigmine. Each patient was observed for 24 months or until death. The cognitive and functional assessments, the use of ChEIs, memantine, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anxiolytics were recorded. The total number of deaths at the end of the observational period was 99 (8.45%). The patients who had received rivastigmine treatment were at an increased risk of death in the follow-up period. The higher risk of death in the rivastigmine group remained significant in multivariate Cox regression models.

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