There are no drug treatments that can cure Alzheimer's disease or any other common type of dementia. However, medicines have been developed for Alzheimer's disease that can temporarily alleviate symptoms, or slow down their progression, in some people. This factsheet explains how the main drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease work, how to access them, and when they can be prescribed and used effectively.
For more information about Alzheimer's disease see our page: What is Alzheimer's disease?
Drug treatment for Alzheimer's disease is important, but the benefits are small, and drugs should only be one part of a person's overall care. Non-drug treatments, activities and support are just as important in helping someone to live well with Alzheimer's disease.
Many drugs have at least two names. The generic name identifies the substance. The brand name varies depending on the company that manufactures it. For example, a familiar painkiller has the generic name paracetamol and is manufactured under brand names such as Panadol and Calpol, among others. Occasionally, a drug with a very well-known generic name (such as paracetamol) will also be manufactured and sold using just this name.