Aricept

Generic Name: Donepezil

  • What is Aricept?

    Aricept is used to treat certain symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Although it will not prevent or cure the underlying disease, Aricept may temporarily improve cognition (thinking ability), the ability to perform daily tasks (such as getting dressed and using the phone), and slow the decline of overall function in people with Alzheimer's disease.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Aricept?

    Some patients taking Aricept may experience heart problems (lowered heart rate, fainting), stomach pain or bleeding, and difficulty urinating. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms occur while taking Aricept.

    Aricept may increase the effects of certain anesthetics. Tell your doctor if you are taking Aricept before having any surgery.

    It may take several weeks to start seeing any benefit from Aricept. It is important to not stop taking Aricept for long periods of time; otherwise, any benefit may be completely lost. If you are unsure if Aricept is working, tell your doctor first before stopping.

  • Who should not take Aricept?

    Do not use Aricept if you are allergic to its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Aricept?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Aricept. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have asthma or other breathing problems, seizures, heart problems, fainting problems, or stomach ulcers.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The usual dose is 5 milligrams (mg) once daily. In severe Alzheimer's disease, the usual maintenance dose is 10 mg daily.

  • How should I take Aricept?

    Aricept should be taken every day in the evening, just before bedtime. Aricept tablets should be swallowed whole with water. The orally disintegrating tablets (Aricept ODT) should be placed on the tongue and allowed to dissolve, followed with water. This medication can be taken with or without food.

  • What should I avoid while taking Aricept?

    Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen with caution. Aricept can make stomach side effects (such as bleeding) worse in people who take NSAIDs on a daily basis.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Aricept?

    If Aricept is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Aricept with the following: antispasmodic drugs such as dicyclomine, propantheline, bethanechol, carbamazepine, dexamethasone, ketoconazole, phenobarbital, phenytoin, quinidine, and rifampin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Aricept?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, abnormal dreams, arthritis, bruising, depression, dizziness, fainting, frequent urination, headache, pain, sleepiness, weight loss

  • Can I receive Aricept if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Aricept should not be used during pregnancy. It is not known whether Aricept passes into breast milk. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Aricept?

    Take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 12 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. If you miss your scheduled doses for 1 week, call the doctor before continuing to take Aricept.

  • How should I store Aricept?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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