Doody said that the disparity in deaths among the two groups of patients "was not seen in two previously published studies of Aricept for vascular dementia."
"Patients with mixed Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia have been safely treated [with Aricept] for years," she said.
While it can be alarming when research seems to show an unusual rate of death in patients taking a medication, but Dr. Amanda Smith said the findings shouldn't be taken out of context.
And, she said, most importantly, "patients should not stop taking their medication without speaking to their doctors first."
Schofer is a chief resident in emergency medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, nor the U.S. Government.