Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Aricept

(Donepezil)

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Treats dementia.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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Side effects for Aricept (Donepezil)

From clinical trials of Aricept / Alzheimer's Disease ( 1102)

  • NauseaNausea11% for Donepezil vs.6% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache10% for Donepezil vs.9% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea10% for Donepezil vs.5% for placebo
  • Pain, various locationsPain, various locations9% for Donepezil vs.8% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty9% for Donepezil vs.6% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness8% for Donepezil vs.6% for placebo
  • AccidentAccident7% for Donepezil vs.6% for placebo
  • Muscle crampsMuscle cramps6% for Donepezil vs.2% for placebo
  • FatigueFatigue5% for Donepezil vs.3% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting5% for Donepezil vs.3% for placebo

What to expect when you take Aricept (Donepezil)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take Aricept (Donepezil) in the evening or before going to bed. Can be taken with or without food.
  • Can cause increased stomach acid (and possibly heartburn), especially if you're also taking anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs.
  • Can cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
  • If you're taking the orally disintegrating tablet (ODT), place it on your tongue and let it dissolve, then drink a full cup of water.
  • The oral tablet shouldn’t be split, crushed, or chewed.
  • If you've missed seven doses in a row, you'll need to call your doctor about restarting the medication properly again.

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.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Aricept (Donepezil)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Food
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take Aricept (Donepezil) in the evening or before going to bed. Can be taken with or without food.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • 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.
Weight gain or loss
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • People on Aricept (Donepezil) have reported weight loss. This is common. If this bothers you, talk to your doctor.