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Cholinesterase Inhibitor Discontinuation (CID)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02248636
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 25, 2014
Results First Posted : October 23, 2020
Last Update Posted : October 23, 2020
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development

Brief Summary:

This study tries to determine if stopping certain medications that are used to treat dementia will cause worsening from the patient and family perspective.

All of the participants will take pills that look identical, and that may contain active drug or an inactive pill (a placebo). Half of the group will receive the same treatment they were taking before the study -- this is called the "sham discontinuation" arm. The other half will receive a reduced dose of their medication, and then an inactive pill (placebo) -- this is called the "real discontinuation" arm.

Participants will be able to return to their previous dose of medication at any time during the study. The percentage of people who return will be measured and compared. Other medical events and factors such as behaviors, thinking, and caregiver distress, will be measured and compared between the groups.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Dementia Drug: Cholinesterase inhibitor Drug: Sham discontinuation Phase 2 Phase 3

Detailed Description:

There are no reliable findings from controlled trials about discontinuation of cholinesterase inhibitors from a patient and family perspective. It is unknown at what point these medications do not have effects, and how they can safely be discontinued.

The investigators will identify Veterans who have been taking a cholinesterase inhibitor (CI) (donepezil or galantamine) for at least one year. After informed consent, the investigators will randomize them to Real Taper (half-dose of the CI they had taken for 3 weeks, then placebo for 3 weeks), or Sham Taper (continued full dose of the CI they had taken for 6 weeks). The pills will be blinded by over-encapsulating of the drug or placebo.

An intake interview will ascertain history and measure behaviors, cognitive symptoms, and mood, as well as caregiver burden. Phone calls will assess treatment use and adverse events at week 2 and week 4. An exit interview at week 6 will measure the same variables as at baseline. Participants will be unblinded at that point so they will know which treatment had been used. A follow-up call at 12 weeks will ascertain ongoing treatment and any further adverse events.

At any point in the study, participants and caregivers will be able to return to their pre-study dose of medication.

The primary outcome is the percentage of participants who successfully complete a 6-week discontinuation. This will be compared between arms. Other outcomes related to medical events (e.g. hospitalizations, falls), symptoms (e.g. cognition, behaviors), and caregiver distress will be measured and compared.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 72 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Cholinesterase Inhibitor Discontinuation
Actual Study Start Date : January 22, 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 1, 2019
Actual Study Completion Date : October 1, 2019

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Dementia

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Real discontinuation
This group is tapered off their previous cholinesterase inhibitor medication.
Drug: Cholinesterase inhibitor
This group receives a half-dose of their previous cholinesterase inhibitor medication (in overencapsulated form) for two weeks, then receives placebo.

Sham Comparator: Sham discontinuation
This group receives their previous cholinesterase inhibitor medication, but in in placebo form.
Drug: Sham discontinuation
This group receives their previous dose of cholinesterase inhibitor medication, but in overencapsulated form

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Successful Completion [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
    Participants can return to their pre-study dose of medication at any time. If they complete 6 weeks of either real discontinuation or sham discontinuation, they are considered to have successfully completed treatment.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Caregiver Burden [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
    The Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview contains 22 items, each on a 5-point scale, for a maximum score of 110. The minimum score is 0. A higher score indicates worse subjective burden.

  2. Veteran Cognition [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
    Six-Item Screener is a telephone-based assessment of cognitive status. The score ranges from 0 to 6. A higher score indicates better cognition.

  3. Veteran Functioning [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
    The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study ADL Scale (ADCS-ADL) is a 23-item scale divided into activities of daily living and independent activities of daily living. Scores range from 0-78. A lower score indicates worse functional ability.

  4. Behavioral Symptoms [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
    The Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD) is a 25-item instrument. Scores range from 0-75, with a higher number indicating worse behavioral symptoms.

  5. Post-study Treatment Choice [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Veteran and caregiver decision to continue, or to have restarted, the pre-study medication at 12 weeks. The participants were unblinded at 6 weeks, and were requested to make their own decision about restarting.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Males and females ages 60 and older.
  • Taking stable dose of donepezil 10mg or greater per day, or galantamine 8mg or greater per day, for at least 1 year.
  • Presence of a primary caregiver who can assume responsibility for medication compliance, OR residence in a nursing home with a staff member who can provide information.
  • Primary care visit within last 12 months.
  • Willing to have the CI medication discontinued.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Terminal medical condition for which life expectancy would be less than 6 months.
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Presence of any uncontrolled systemic illness that would interfere with participation in the study.
  • Unstable medical condition.
  • Receiving services from hospice.
  • Current prescription with more than one CI
  • Receiving medication in an investigational drug study.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02248636

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United States, Arkansas
Central Arkansas VHS John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital, Little Rock, AR
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States, 72205-5484
United States, Idaho
Boise VA Medical Center, Boise, ID
Boise, Idaho, United States, 83702
United States, Massachusetts
Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, Bedford, MA
Bedford, Massachusetts, United States, 01730
United States, Washington
VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle Division, Seattle, WA
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98108
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
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Principal Investigator: Stephen M Thielke, MD VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle Division, Seattle, WA
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
Study Protocol  [PDF] May 2, 2019
Statistical Analysis Plan  [PDF] May 8, 2014

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Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02248636    
Other Study ID Numbers: CLIN-014-13F
First Posted: September 25, 2014    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: October 23, 2020
Last Update Posted: October 23, 2020
Last Verified: September 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Product Manufactured in and Exported from the U.S.: Yes
Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
Alzheimer's disease
Cholinesterase inhibitor
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Cholinergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs