Aricept

Name: Aricept

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Reviewed on 7/29/2016 References Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Precautions

Before taking donepezil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), fainting, heart disease (such as sick sinus syndrome, other heart conduction disorder), seizures, stomach/intestinal disease (such as ulcers, bleeding), trouble urinating (such as enlarged prostate).This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

From

Healthy Resources
  • 10 Tips for Senior Health
  • Caring for Someone With Alzheimer's
  • Cancer Treatment: What to Expect
Featured Centers
  • 13 Best Quit-Smoking Tips Ever
  • What Stress Does to Your Mouth
  • Healthy Home: To Buy or Not to Buy Organic?
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
  • Frequent Constipation?
  • Greater Food Accessibility
Reviewed on 4/16/2014 References

Aricept Overview

Aricept is a prescription medication used to treat Alzheimer's disease. Aricept belongs to a group of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. This medication works by stopping a specific enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is important in many brain functions, including memory, attention, reason, and language.

Aricept comes as a tablet is usually taken by mouth once a day at bedtime, with or without food.  Common side effects of Aricept include nausea, diarrhea, and difficulty sleeping.

Side Effects of Aricept

Aricept may cause serious side effects. See "Drug Precautions" section.

The most common side effects of Aricept are:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • not sleeping well
  • vomiting
  • muscle cramps
  • feeling tired
  • not wanting to eat

These side effects may get better after the patient takes Aricept for a while. This is not a complete list of side effects with Aricept. For more information, ask the doctor or pharmacist.

Inform MD

Tell the doctor about all of your medical conditions including:

  • irregular, slow or fast heartbeat or other heart problems
  • asthma or breathing problems
  • seizures
  • difficulty passing urine
  • liver or kidney problems
  • trouble swallowing tablets
  • if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • if you have or have had stomach ulcers

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you are currently taking or plan to take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Because Aricept may cause side effects when taken with certain medicines used for anesthesia, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Aricept if you:

  • will have surgery or medical procedures
  • will have dental surgery or procedures

Aricept and Lactation

It is not known whether Aricept is excreted into human breast milk or if it will harm a nursing child.

Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy category: C

Lactation: Excretion in breast milk unknown, use caution

Pregnancy Categories

A:Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.

B:May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.

C:Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.

D:Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.

X:Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.

NA:Information not available.

Aricept Dosage and Administration

Administration

Oral Administration

Administer conventional or orally disintegrating tablets orally once daily, usually at bedtime.1 2

Administer with or without food.1 2

Orally disintegrating tablets: Place on tongue and allow to dissolve; follow with water.1

Donepezil hydrochloride orally disintegrating and conventional film-coated tablets are bioequivalent.1

Dosage

Available as donepezil hydrochloride; dosage expressed in terms of the salt.1

Adults

Alzheimer’s Disease Oral

Initially, 5 mg daily.1 6 11

Some data suggest the possibility of additional benefit with higher (10 mg daily) dosage in some patients;1 2 6 12 however, additional benefit with the 10-mg dosage has not been demonstrated in controlled clinical studies.1 2 12 Adverse cholinergic effects are more likely with the 10-mg dosage.1 2

Daily administration of 10 mg should not be considered until patient has received 5 mg daily for 4–6 weeks, since occurrence of adverse effects may be influenced by the rate of increase in dosage.1 2 11

Special Populations

Hepatic Impairment

No specific recommendation for dosage adjustment.1

Actions

  • Precise mechanism(s) of action in patients with dementia of the Alzheimer’s type not fully elucidated.1 Binds reversibly with and inactivates cholinesterases (e.g., acetylcholinesterase), thus inhibiting hydrolysis of acetylcholine1 3 6 7 10 11 12 15 and resulting in increased acetylcholine concentrations at cholinergic synapses.1 6

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Aricept

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet, Disintegrating
  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Central Nervous System Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Cholinesterase Inhibitor, Centrally Acting

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (oral disintegrating tablets, oral solution, and tablets):
    • For mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease:
      • Adults—5 milligrams (mg) taken at bedtime. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 10 mg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease:
      • Adults—10 milligrams (mg) taken at bedtime. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose usually is not more than 23 mg per day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

What is donepezil?

Donepezil improves the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by preventing the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine (ah SEET il KOE leen). People with dementia usually have lower levels of this chemical, which is important for the processes of memory, thinking, and reasoning.

Donepezil is used to treat mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Donepezil is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease. This condition will progress over time, even in people who take donepezil.

Donepezil may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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