Aricept (donepezil) Aricept Drug Description Aricept is a reversible inhibitor of the acetylcholinesterase enzyme. The function of this enzyme is to break down acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine is associated with learning and memory and individuals with Alzheimer’s are in short supply of it. Donepezil, which is the primary ingredient in Aricept, is developed and marketed by Eisai and Pfizer (partner). The major clinical use of this drug is for treating Alzheimer’s since it helps to increase cortical acetylcholine levels. Since its oral bioavailability is 100%, it crosses the blood brain barrier quite easily. Aricept is available for oral administration in the form of film coated round tablets. 5 mg, 10 mg and 23 mg are the available dosage strengths. 5 mg tablets are white in color, 10 mg tablets are yellow and 23 mg Aricept tablets are reddish. Aricept is available in the form of orally disintegrating tablets or ODT. This medication is available in two forms (5 mg and 10 mg), the drug should be stored at room temperature. Discuss with your doctor of all allergies and medical conditions that you currently have before taking the medication. Consulting your physician before you effect any changes in your medication schedule is critical to avert possibilities of mishaps. Conditions treated by Aricept Aricept helps to improve nerve cell functions in your brain. It operates by avoiding the breakdown of acetylcholine. This chemical is used to boost and maintain your ability to reason, think and remember. Individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia are found to lack these chemicals. Mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s and Dementia are treated by Aricept. Some severe cases can also be handled by this drug. Aricept is considered effective in improving cognitive function in such individuals. The off label uses of the drug that are not yet approved include treatment for vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia. Sleep apnea in patients with Alzheimer’s has also been found to improve. There are a few studies that have demonstrated the efficacy of Aricept in treating Down syndrome, CADASIL syndrome, multiple sclerosis, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia and mild cognitive impairment. Aricept Dosage Information a.) Typical Dosage Recommendations Aricept is generally taken late in the evening just before you retire for the day. The drug can be taken without or with food. The 23 mg tablet should be neither split nor crushed since this will cause the tablet to increase its absorption rate. Aricept ODT (Orally Disintegrating Tablet) should be left to dissolve on your tongue without chewing and followed by consuming water. 5 mg and 10 mg tablets administered once every day proved effective in controlling mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Similarly, 10 mg and 23 mg tablets administered once daily controlled moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer’s. The recommended beginning dose for titration is 5 mg that is administered every day. This can later be increased to 10 mg per day as advised by your physician. After 3 months, the dose can be titrated to 23 mg if need be. Do not take small or large amounts of this drug without consulting your doctor. If you are to undergo a surgery, you have to inform your surgeon about taking Aricept. The drug may have to be stopped for a short while. Aricept tablets should be taken followed by a full glass of water. b.)Missing a Dose Take the missed dose as soon as you realize that you have missed it but if it is almost time for your subsequent dose; do not take the missed one. Do not take extra doses to catch up. c.)Overdosing If you feel you have been overdosed with Aricept, try to get emergency medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms of overdosing can include convulsions, fainting, muscle weakness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, light headedness, blurred vision, sweating, drooling, vomiting and severe nausea. Aricept Warnings Aricpet has the potential to impair your ability to think or react. Therefore, you are expected to be extremely cautious while indulging in acts that require you to be alert such as driving. People allergic to any of the ingredients used in Aricept or to those medications that contain piperidines should not use the drug. If you suffer from severe conditions of stomach ulcers and are prone to bleeding, you will find your condition worsen with the use of Aricept. Unexplained weight loss has been reported in certain cases. The drug can also cause bladder outflow obstruction and result in seizures. Inform your doctor when you have a disorder of a heart rhythm or enlarged prostate or epilepsy and other seizure problems or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Aricept could be harmful to an unborn baby. Excretion of the drug through breast milk has not been determined. Therefore, consult your doctor prior to taking the medication if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. Side Effects with Aricept Allergic reactions from taking Aricept can include: swelling on lips, throat, tongue and face hives and difficulty in breathing Some of the serious side effects indicate stopping the drug immediately and consulting your doctor. These side effects include: black outs or seizures difficulty in or painful urination vomit that resembles coffee grounds or blood or coughing up blood tarry or bloody or black stools problems with sleep feeling of fatigue or tiredness muscle cramps appetite loss diarrhea vomiting and nausea Lung problems like asthma can aggravate with the use of Aricept in some. Any other uncomfortable or bothersome side effect should be immediately communicated to your doctor. Possible Drug Interactions with Aricept When you are prescribed Aricept, you should inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications such as: atropine Donnatol (belladonna) Tegretol (carbamazepine) clidinium Dexasone (dexamethasone) Bentylol (Dicyclomine) Robinul (glycopyrrolate) Levsin (hyoscyamine) Cantil (mepenzolate) methantheline Pamine (methscopolamine) Transderm-V (scopolamine) Phenobarbital Dilantin (phenytoin) propantheline Quinidine Rifadin (rifampin) fungal antibiotics such as: Nizoral (ketoconazole) Sporanox (itraconazole) NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) like: Advil(ibuprofen) Ansaid (flurbiprofen) Orudis (ketoprofen) Relafen (nabumetone) Feldene (piroxicam) Indocin (indomethacin) Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) If you are using medications for treating Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s or even those drugs for treating cold or allergies, you should inform your doctor. If you have any questions about buying discount Aricept online or any other prescription products you can contact our team of professional Patient Service Representatives or one of our pharmacists 24-7 by calling or emailing us. Notice: The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.