Aricept is a drug prescribed to treat mild stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Why have I been prescribed Aricept?

How does it work?

The drug in Aricept is called Donepezil which belongs to a family of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. These increase the levels of a chemical in the brain (Acetylcholine) that is known to be lowered in Alzheimer’s patients.

When and how do I take Aricept?

Take it in the evening just before going to bed. Swallow it whole with water with or without food.

What’s the dose?

Patients are usually started on 5mg once daily and increased to 10mg once daily after approximately one month. MAX dose = 10mg once daily.

How long will they take to work?

It could take up to 12 weeks to see effect.

Could they interact with other tablets?

There are no known significant interactions between Aricept and other drugs. However, it may interact with some drugs called anticholinergic agents, some antifungals and some painkillers such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. Because of this, it is important to tell your doctor what tablets you are taking.

Herbal supplements should be used with caution and only after informing your doctor first.

What are the possible risks or side-effects?

Like all medicines, Aricept may cause some side effects. The most common side effects include:

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • diarrhoea
  • fatigue
  • muscle cramps
  • loss of appetite

These effects are normally mild, and generally go away as you continue your treatment with Aricept. Some people may experience fainting. Occasionally other behavioural effects may occur such as aggression.

If you are unsure about anything, or don't feel well in any way, be sure to let your doctor know.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Aricept?

Patients taking Aricept should not drink alcohol because the combination of the two may cause increased drowsiness and sedation. Also, the sedative effects of alcohol may act as a depressant, interfering the therapeutic effects of Aricept and complicating treatment.

What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?

Aricept should not be taken while pregnant or breast-feeding unless deemed necessary by your doctor.

If you have any other questions please contact your Pharmacist.

Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note:
We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.

References

1. Medicines.ie Website- Aricept SPC                                                      http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/5567/SPC/ARICEPT+TABLETS+5MG%2c+10MG/

2. Medicines.ie Website- Aricept PIL                                                                   http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/8783/PIL/Aricept+5mg+%26+10mg+Tablets/

Health Reference: Alzheimer's Disease