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Related to Aricept: Namenda

donepezil hydrochloride


Pharmacologic class: Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor

Therapeutic class: Anti-Alzheimer's agent

Pregnancy risk category C


Reversibly inhibits acetylcholinesterase hydrolysis in CNS, leading to increased acetylcholine level and temporary cognitive improvement in patients with Alzheimer's disease


Tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg, 23 mg

Tablets (orally disintegrating): 5 mg, 10 mg

Indications and dosages

Mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease

Adults: Initially, 5 mg P.O. daily. After 4 to 6 weeks, may increase dosage to 10 mg at bedtime.

Moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease

Adults: Initially, 10 mg P.O. daily. After 3 months, may increase dosage to 23 mg.


• Hypersensitivity to drug or piperidine derivatives


Use cautiously in:

• cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or sick sinus syndrome

• patients at risk for developing ulcers, such as those with history of ulcer disease or those concurrently receiving NSAIDs

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients

• children (safety and efficacy not established).


• Give with or without food.

• For best response, give at bedtime.

Adverse reactions

CNS: headache, dizziness, vertigo, fatigue, depression, aggression, irritability, restlessness, nervousness, paresthesia, insomnia, abnormal dreams, tremor, aphasia, seizures

CV: chest pain, bradycardia, hypertension, hypotension, vasodilation, atrial fibrillation, heart block

EENT: cataracts, blurred vision, eye irritation, sore throat

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, bloating, epigastric pain, fecal incontinence, GI bleeding

GU: urinary frequency, increased libido, bladder outflow obstruction

Metabolic: dehydration

Musculoskeletal: muscle cramps, arthritis, bone fracture

Respiratory: dyspnea, bronchitis

Skin: pruritus, urticaria, bruising, diaphoresis, rash, flushing

Other: toothache, decreased appetite, weight loss, hot flashes, influenza


Drug-drug. Anticholinergics: reduced donepezil effects

Anticholinesterases, cholinomimetics: synergistic effects

Carbamazepine, dexamethasone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin: accelerated donepezil elimination

NSAIDs: increased risk of GI bleeding

Patient monitoring

Watch closely for increased bronchoconstriction in patients with history of asthma or COPD.

• Assess cardiovascular status. Drug may cause bradycardia from increased vagal tone.

• Monitor closely for signs and symptoms of GI ulcers and bleeding, especially if patient takes NSAIDs concurrently.

Patient teaching

• Advise patient to take drug at bedtime with or without food.

• Instruct patient to allow orally disintegrating tablet to dissolve under tongue and then follow with a glass of water.

• Tell patient not to split, crush, or chew 23-mg tablet.

• Inform patient that drug may slow the heart rate, leading to fainting episodes.

Instruct patient to immediately report signs or symptoms of GI ulcers ("coffee-ground" vomitus, black tarry stools, and abdominal pain), or irregular heartbeat.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs mentioned above.


A trademark for the drug donepezil hydrochloride.


Donepezil Neurology An agent that transiently slows the mental decline in Alzheimer's disease. See Alzheimer's disease.


A brand name for DONEPEZIL.
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2 years, people treated with Aricept experienced half the rate of progression to AD experienced by the other participants.
Eisai, the manufacturer of Aricept, is fighting a decision to restrict access to that class of drugs for patients.
Donepezil, sold under the brand name Aricept, works by increasing levels of a brain chemical linked to memory.
A small pilot study involving just nine patients, including stroke and accident victims, found that a daily dose of Aricept improved their memory, concentration, and mental vigilance.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ) announced that the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has ruled in Eisai's favor with respect to Eisai's motion for a preliminary injunction in its patent infringement lawsuit against Teva Pharmaceuticals and its division Gate Pharmaceuticals (collectively "Teva"), concerning Aricept (generic name: donepezil hydrochloride tablets).
I fought to get Aricept for my husband seven years ago, with the help of my doctor who believed a doctor's job was to ease suffering and prolong life at all costs.