Aricept (Donepezil) is used to treat mild to moderate confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer's disease. Aricept improves the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by preventing the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine. Though it does not cure Alzheimer's disease, but it may improve memory, awareness, and the ability to function. Aricept (Donepezil) is an enzyme blocker that works by restoring the balance of natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Aricept (Donepezil), an enzyme blocker indicated to treat mild to moderate confusion (dementia) related to Alzheimer's disease. Aricept (Donepezil) does not cure Alzheimer's disease, but it may improve memory and the ability to function. Aricept may also be used for other purposes not listed.
The patient should take this medication by mouth once daily with or without food, usually just before bedtime, or as directed by the doctor. If the person experiences sleep problems (insomnia), the doctor should be consulted about switching to a morning dose. The patient should use Aricept (Donepezil) regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. The patient should not stop taking it or increase the dosage unless the doctor instructs to do so. To get the full benefit of this drug it may take a few weeks.
The various reported side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, tiredness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, or muscle. These effects usually last 1-3 weeks and then subside. The doctor should be consulted immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (depression), slow/irregular heartbeat, fainting, vision problems, more frequent urination/trouble urinating, weight loss, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe stomach/abdominal pain, seizures.
The doctor should be informed with all the prescription and nonprescription/herbal products that the patient is using, especially of: anticholinergic medications (e.g., benztropine, diphenhydramine), aspirin (high doses used for arthritis), cholinergic drugs (e.g., bethanechol), cholinesterase inhibitors (e.g., neostigmine), long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen), drugs affecting the liver enzymes that remove donepezil from your body (such as carbamazepine, dexamethasone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin).
If overdose is suspected, the local poison control center or emergency room should be contacted immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include severe or persistent nausea/vomiting, excessive sweating, very slow heartbeat, slow or shallow breathing, seizures.
Medical history, especially of: breathing problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), heart disease (heart conduction disorders), seizures, stomach/intestinal disease (e.g., ulcers, bleeding), trouble urinating (e.g., enlarged prostate).