Aricept is used for treating dementia (eg, impairment of memory, judgment, and abstract thinking; changes in personality) in patients with Alzheimer disease. Aricept is a cholinesterase inhibitor. It works by increasing the amount of a certain substance (acetylcholine) in the brain, which may help reduce the symptoms of dementia in patients with Alzheimer disease.
Use Aricept as directed by your doctor.
- Take Aricept by mouth in the evening right before bed, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Take Aricept with or without food.
- Take Aricept on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- Taking Aricept at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- Continue to take Aricept even if you feel well. Do not miss any dose.
- If you miss a dose of Aricept, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. Contact your doctor if you miss several doses of Aricept. You may need to restart your medicine at a lower dose to avoid side effects.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Aricept.
Store Aricept at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Aricept out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Active Ingredient: Donepezil
Do NOT use Aricept if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Aricept.
Some medical conditions may interact with Aricept. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of certain heart problems (eg, slow or irregular heartbeat, sick sinus syndrome), stomach or bowel problems (eg, ulcer, blockage), lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]), or urinary blockage
- if you have brain lesions or tumors, increased pressure in the brain, recent head injury, or a history of seizures (eg, epilepsy)
- if you have Parkinson disease or metabolism problems.
Some medicines may interact with Aricept. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) because the risk of stomach or bowel bleeding may be increased
- Cholinergic agents (eg, bethanechol), cholinesterase inhibitors (eg, galantamine), or ketoconazole because they may increase the risk of Aricept’s side effects
- Carbamazepine, dexamethasone, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or rifampin because they may decrease Aricept’s effectiveness
- Anticholinergics (eg, scopolamine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by Aricept.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Aricept may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information
- Aricept may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or fainting. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Aricept with caution. Do not drive or perform other possible unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Aricept before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Aricept is not approved for use in children; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Aricept while you are pregnant. It is not known if Aricept is found in breast milk. Aricept is not approved for use in women who may be breast-feeding.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Abnormal dreams; diarrhea; dizziness; loss of appetite; muscle cramps; nausea; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weight loss.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or black, tarry stools; chest pain; decreased urination; depression; fainting; fever; seizures; severe dizziness or headache; shortness of breath; slow or irregular heartbeat; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; unusual bruising; tremor.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.