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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.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A trademark for the drug donepezil hydrochloride.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Donepezil Neurology An agent that transiently slows the mental decline in Alzheimer's disease. See Alzheimer's disease.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A brand name for DONEPEZIL.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Aricept generated about $3.7 billion for Eisai in the last fiscal year, 60% of which came from the United States, the world s largest drug market.
Eisai expects that ARICEPT will become applicable for the treatment of severe Alzheimer's disease.
His devoted wife Marie says the drug Aricept has helped slow his illness and extend his quality of life.
My mum had terrible stomach cramps and sickness with Aricept, which worsened and accelerated the effects of her dementia.
Knopman compared the BAN2401 results to the clinical trials of Aricept (donepezil), where the difference seen between patients on the drug and patients on the placebo was about two points on the ADAS-cog over six months.
announced today that Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) has been approved for the additional indication of severe Alzheimer's disease in China.
Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) from Pfizer/Eisais was the world best-selling drug till 2010, which lost patent protection in November 2010 and at present, Namenda (memantine hydrochloride) from Forest Laboratories, Exelon (rivastigmine) from Novartis and Ebixa (memantine) from Lundbeck Ltd.
Lupin's product is a generic version of Eisai Inc's Aricept tablets which is indicated for the treatment of dementia of the Alzheimer's type.
It is based on the company's proprietary transdermal formulation and adhesive technology and is aimed to deliver donepezil (the active ingredient in Aricept) for up to seven days in a single-patch application.