Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Neurology

Aricept 

(donepezil)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Neurology
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Treats dementia.

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Our bottom line

Aricept (Donepezil) works for all stages of dementia caused by Alzheimer's, but it can be expensive.

Price and discounts
Best available price for 30 (10mg) tablets of donepezil

Upsides

  • Aricept (Donepezil) can be used to treat dementia caused by all stages of Alzheimer's.
  • It can be effective for treating behavioral problems related to dementia.
  • Available in three different forms: immediate release solution, a tablet, and an orally disintegrating tablet.
People say this drug is:
21 reviews

Downsides

  • Only available as a brand name medication, so it can be expensive.
  • Like other medications for dementia, it only slows down the progression of the disease; it doesn't stop or reverse it.
  • Aricept (Donepezil) is not a good choice for people with heart problems or a slow heart rate. It can slow the heart rate down and cause dizziness or fainting.
How it works

Aricept (Donepezil) is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Researchers don't know exactly how it helps treat Alzheimer's disease, but it prevents acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain, from being broken down too quickly. Acetylcholine is important in transmitting signals through nerves, a process that breaks down in Alzheimer's.

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Side effect rates for Aricept (donepezil)

1102 From clinical trials of Aricept / Alzheimer's Disease
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain, various locations
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Dizziness
  • Accident
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting

Risks and Warnings for Aricept (donepezil)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

    People on Aricept (Donepezil) have reported stomach ulcers which can also lead to bleeding in the stomach and intestines. Taking medications for inflammation, such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen or naproxen), can make this worse. Talk to your doctor if you vomit blood or material that looks like coffee grounds, or if your stool has blood or looks black and tarry. You can help prevent this by having some food or milk in your stomach when you take the medication.

Common concerns from people taking Aricept (donepezil)

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Pregnancy
Price
  • Dramatically slowed Alzheimer's progression for 8 years and counting. Too bad insurance will no longer cover it.
Weight
  • People on Aricept (Donepezil) have reported weight loss. This is common. If this bothers you, talk to your doctor.