Generic Name(s): Donepezil
Drug Class: Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
Treats: Alzheimer's disease
Aricept is a drug given to patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease to improve on the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by helping to keep acetylcholine in the body a chemical which when lacked in the body or is in low levels will cause dementia. It is important for reasoning, thinking and processing of memory. Alzheimer disease will progress over time even though the patient takes Aricept. Aricept will only slow down the process and will help improve on awareness, memory and ability to function.
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Aricept, also known as Donepezil, is majorly used in treatment of confusion (dementia) in relation to Alzheimer's disease. It does not cure Alzheimer but rather treats its symptoms which include: Memory loss, Mental changes, and Confusion. Aricept is an enzyme blocker that helps restore the balance of neurotransmitters (natural substances) in the brain, thus, helping to improve memory, ability to function, and awareness.
Aricept is an orally administered drug that is usually taken once a day just before bedtime. Dosage is according to response to treatment and medical condition and should only be got from your doctor. Nevertheless, the dosage is started on a low dose and gradually increased to reduce on the risk of side effects. Always swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew as this might increase on the risk of side effects. If you haven't been taking Aricept for a week straight, it is advised that you speak to your doctor before you start taking the drug again as you may need to start on a lower dosage.
Aricept Side Effects
Some of the side effects that should be expected when taking Aricept are included below.
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle cramps
- Tremor (shakiness)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
These side effects usually appear when you start taking the drug and will gradually disappear as time elapses. In case of persistence, notify your doctor as soon as possible. In case of fainting, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, seizures, trouble urinating and black stools inform your doctor promptly for further medical assistance.
Drugs that have been known to interact with Aricept include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. These drugs taken together with Aricept may lead to stomach/intestinal bleeding and put you at risk of facing other side effects. Remember that drug interaction is often more risky than beneficial thus it is better to inform your doctor of all the products you are taking for better medical assistance.