ANCHOR LEAD: A NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION MAY PROVE USEFUL IN ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Dimebon is an over the counter medication that appears to improve symptoms in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, a recent Lancet study reported. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says dimebon has been used for many years as an antihistamine.
LYKETSOS: Clearly has been used safely in lots and lots of folks, the safety is confirmed so far in the Alzheimer’s patients as well, what we don’t know of course is whether the benefits of the drug will survive the phase III clinical trials that they’re going into right now. So I think it’s cautious optimism, we should always have reasons for hope, there’s lots of treatment development going on for Alzheimer’s disease but we have to be cautious. We’ve seen lots of drugs come to these sorts of positive results in phase II that can’t replicate them in phase III. :31
Even though this medication doesn’t require a prescription, Lyketsos warns against self-medication until more data come in. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.