Donepezil (By mouth)
Treats symptoms of Alzheimer's disease such as confusion or dementia (memory loss and mental changes).
Aricept, Aricept ODT
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to donepezil or to medicines that contain piperidine.
How to Use This Medicine
Liquid, Tablet, Dissolving Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Take this medicine at bedtime, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- You may take this medicine with or without food.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- If you are using the disintegrating tablet, make sure your hands are dry before you handle the tablet. Do not open the blister pack that contains the tablet until you are ready to take it. Remove the tablet from the blister pack by peeling back the foil, then taking the tablet out. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet in your mouth. It should melt quickly. After the tablet has melted, swallow or take a drink of water.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using bethanechol (Urecholine®), dicyclomine (Bentyl®), glycopyrrolate (Robinul®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), oxybutynin (Ditropan®), hyoscyamine, ipratropium (Atrovent®), orphenadrine (Flexor®, Norflex®), quinidine (Quinaglute®), scopolamine (Transderm-Scop®), tolterodine (Detrol®), or trospium (Sanctura®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using carbamazepine (Tegretol®), dexamethasone, phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin®), or rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®). Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a pain or arthritis medicine (sometimes called "NSAIDs") such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Bextra®, Celebrex®, Ecotrin®, or Motrin®.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, heart disease, lung disease, seizures, stomach ulcers, trouble urinating, or if your have a low body weight (below 50 kilograms or 110 pounds). Tell your doctor if you have a history of asthma or other breathing problems.
- Some people who have used this medicine developed problems such as nausea, severe vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and weight loss. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you have any concerns.
- Tell you doctor right away if you have bloody or black, tarry stools; constipation; severe stomach pain; or vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds. These may be symptoms of stomach or bowel bleeding.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Bloody or black, tarry stools.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain, slow or uneven heartbeat.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Severe stomach pain.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Headache, depression, restlessness, or irritability.
- Loss of appetite.
- Loss of bladder or bowel control.
- Mild nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Sweating or increased thirst.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Unusual tiredness or cold feeling.
- Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013