Compare Aricept vs. Exelon

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Aricept (donepezil)

Prescription only

Exelon (Rivastigmine)

Prescription only
Treats Alzheimer's disease.

Aricept (donepezil) works for all stages of Alzheimer's, and most forms of it are available in generic.

2.9/ 5 average rating with 21 reviewsforAricept
Treats dementia.

Exelon (Rivastigmine) works for all stages of dementia caused by Alzheimer's, and the oral version is cheaper than the patch.

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 as a dissolving pill if you have trouble swallowing.
  • Available as generic.
  • Can be used to treat dementia caused by all stages of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Exelon (Rivastigmine) slows the progression of Alzheimer's, including the person's cognitive function and ability to perform the usual daily living activities.
  • It also improves behavior disorders related to Alzheimer's.
  • Exelon (Rivastigmine) is available as a patch. This form causes fewer stomach problems (like nausea or vomiting).
  • The oral capsules are available as a generic medication.
Downsides
  • Like other drugs for Alzheimer's dementia, it does not cure Alzheimer's, but may help with brain function and doing daily activities.
  • 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.
  • The higher the dose of Aricept (donepezil), the more likely you can experience nausea and vomiting.
  • Like other medications for dementia, it only slows down the progression of the disease, but it doesn't stop or reverse it.
  • You need to take the oral capsules twice a day.
  • The patches are brand name only, so they can be expensive.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Patch
Price
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Reviews
21 reviews so far
43%
saidit'sworth it
19%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
19possible side effects
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Headache
    10%
  • Diarrhea
    10%
  • Pain, various locations
    9%
  • Insomnia
    9%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Accident
    7%
  • Muscle cramps
    6%
  • Fatigue
    5%
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Loss of appetite
    4%
  • Bruising
    4%
  • Weight loss
    3%
  • Depression
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Fainting
    2%
  • Arthritis
    2%
  • Sleepiness
    2%
  • Frequent urination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
4possible side effects
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Vomiting
    5%
  • Anorexia
    3%
  • Dizziness
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Ulcers and bleeding in the stomach
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
    • History of ulcer disease
    • Taking high doses of Aricept (donepezil)
  • Nausea and vomiting
    • Weighing less than 55 kg (110 lbs)
    • Taking high doses of Aricept (donepezil)
  • Weight loss
    • Weighing less than 55 kg (110 lbs)
  • Slowed heartbeat
    • Problems with the heartbeat
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Nausea and vomiting | Weight loss
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Muscle tremors
    • Parkinson's disease
  • Ulcers | Bleeding in the stomach
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
See more detailed risks and warnings