What do donepezil tablets do?
DONEPEZIL (Aricept(TM)) helps treat the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. It is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease but offers improvement in memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple tasks. Benefits are greater for mild to moderate symptoms seen in the early stages of the disease. Generic donepezil tablets are not yet available.
What should my health care professional know before I take donepezil?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• asthma or other lung disease
• difficulty passing urine
• head injury
• heart disease, slow heartbeat
• liver disease
• low blood pressure
• Parkinson’s disease
• seizures (convulsions)
• severe headaches
• stomach or intestinal disease, ulcers or stomach bleeding
• an unusual or allergic reaction to donepezil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take donepezil tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. You may take donepezil with food. Take your doses at regular intervals; donepezil is usually taken before bedtime. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Continue to take your medicine even if you feel better. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber’s advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose, do not take double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with donepezil?
• some antidepressants (examples: fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline)
• medications for motion sickness (examples: dimenhydrinate, scopolamine)
• medicines for treating HIV infection or AIDS
• medicines that relax your muscles for surgery
• non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen)
• rifampin, rifabutin or rifapentine
• St. John’s wort
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking donepezil?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• changes in vision or balance
• diarrhea, if it is severe or does not stop
• dizziness, fainting spells, or falls
• increase in frequency of passing urine, or incontinence
• nervousness, agitation, or increased confusion
• skin rash or hives
• slow heartbeat, or palpitations
• stomach pain
• uncontrollable movements
• unusual bleeding or bruising, red or purple spots on the skin
• weight loss
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• mild diarrhea, especially when starting treatment
• indigestion or heartburn
• loss of appetite
• joint pain
• muscle cramping