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 due to Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.

Exelon (rivastigmine) relieves the symptoms of dementia, but doesn't stop or reverse progression of Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

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.
  • Exelon (rivastigmine) improves behavior disorders related to Alzheimer's disease.
  • The patch causes less stomach issues than the pill form of other medicines that work similarly.
  • Available in cheaper, generic versions.
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.
  • Doesn't stop or reverse the natural progression of disease.
  • Only works for mild to moderate disease.
  • The patch can cause skin irritation.
  • The twice daily dosing schedule may be inconvenient when compared to other medicines for dementia.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
  • 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
24possible side effects
  • Nausea
    47%
  • Vomiting
    31%
  • Dizziness
    21%
  • Diarrhea
    19%
  • Headache
    17%
  • Loss of appetite
    17%
  • Abdominal pain
    13%
  • Fatigue
    9%
  • Upset stomach
    9%
  • Insomnia
    9%
  • Confusion
    8%
  • Urinary tract infection
    7%
  • Lack of energy
    6%
  • Depression
    6%
  • Feeling of discomfort
    5%
  • Sleepiness
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Sweating
    4%
  • Tremor
    4%
  • Hallucination
    4%
  • Fainting
    3%
  • Weight loss
    3%
  • High blood pressure
    3%
  • Aggressive behavior
    3%
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
  • Stomach problems
    • Capsule form of Exelon (rivastigmine)
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Muscle tremors
    • Parkinson's disease
  • Stomach ulcers
    • History of ulcer disease
    • Taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Changes in heart rate
    • Sick sinus syndrome
    • Heart rhythm problems
  • Driving impairment
See more detailed risks and warnings