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Aricept ODT (Generic Donepezil)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Alzheimer’s patients who have dementia, a brain ailment that impairs memory, thinking clearly, communication, and daily functioning and may result in changes in mood and personality, are treated with donepezil (AD; a brain disease that slowly destroys the memory and the ability to think, learn, communicate and handle daily activities). The drug donepezil belongs to the group of drugs known as cholinesterase inhibitors. By boosting the amount of a certain naturally occurring substance in the brain, it enhances mental function (such as memory, attention, the capacity for interpersonal interaction, speaking, and clear thought), as well as the ability to carry out routine daily tasks. In AD patients, donepezil may prevent further decline in thinking and memory skills or at least slow it down. Donepezil will not, however, reverse AD or stop the eventual loss of mental faculties.

How should this medicine be used?

Both tablets and orally disintegrating tablets (tablets that break down fast in the mouth) are available for the oral administration of donepezil. It is often taken once daily in the evening, right before bed, with or without food. Take donepezil every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the donepezil directions precisely. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Although it does not treat Alzheimer’s disease, donepezil aids in managing its symptoms. Even if you feel good, keep taking donepezil. Without first consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking donepezil.

After four to six weeks, your doctor may raise the dose of donepezil that you are taking. After three or more months, your doctor might raise your dose once again.

The 23-mg tablet should be swallowed whole; do not break, chew, or crush it. If you are unable to swallow the tablet whole, let your doctor know.

Place the orally disintegrating tablet on your tongue and wait for it to dissolve before taking it. After the tablet has broken down, sip some water.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking donepezil,

  • If you have an allergy to donepezil, any piperidine drugs, any other medications, any of the substances in donepezil tablets or orally disintegrating tablets, or any other medication, tell your doctor and pharmacist. If you are unsure whether a drug that you are allergic to is a piperidine drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist. For a list of the ingredients, consult your pharmacist or the manufacturer’s patient information.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Incorporate any of the following: ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such aspirin, bethanechol (Duvoid, Urecholine), carbamazepine (Tegretol), dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), antihistamines; drugs for glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, motion sickness, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson’s disease, ulcers, or urinary issues; ipratropium (Atrovent); ketoconazole (Nizoral); phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); phenytoin (Dilantin); quinidine (Quinidex); and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • If you are under 120 lbs (55 kg) in weight, have bleeding in your stomach or intestines, an ulcer, an irregular, fast, or slow heartbeat, seizures, trouble urinating, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a group of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis or emphysema), kidney, liver, or heart disease, or if you have any of these conditions now or in the past, tell your doctor.
  • If you are or plan to become pregnant, or if you are nursing a baby, let your doctor know. Call your physician if you conceive while taking donepezil.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking donepezil if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Do not take the missing dose of donepezil; instead, carry on with your regular dosing regimen. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one. Call your doctor before starting donepezil again if it has been one week or more since your last dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

There may be adverse reactions to donepezil. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Reduced appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Often urinating
  • Inability to control urination
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiffness, edoema, or joint pain
  • Pain
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Alterations in mood or conduct
  • Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices and sound that do not exist)
  • Strange dreams
  • Itchy, scaly, and red skin

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you encounter any of these symptoms, or seek emergency care:

  • Fainting
  • Sluggish heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • New or escalating respiratory issues
  • A new or increasing stomach ache or heartburn
  • Tarry or black stools
  • Blood in the faeces, red
  • Bloody poop
  • Poop that resembles coffee grounds
  • Having trouble or experiencing discomfort when urinating
  • A lower back ache
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Bruising or discoloration of the skin

Other negative effects of donepezil are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right once.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

To make sure that pets, kids, and other people cannot take leftover pharmaceuticals, they should be disposed of in a specific manner. You shouldn’t flush this medication down the toilet, though. The best option to get rid of your medication is instead through a medication take-back programme. To find out about take-back initiatives in your neighbourhood, speak with your pharmacist or get in touch with your city’s waste/recycling department. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, you can find more information at the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose signs could include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Sweating
  • Sluggish heartbeat
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Muscle tremor
  • Fainting
  • Seizures

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Aricept®
  • Aricept® ODT
  • Namzaric®(as a combination product containing Donepezil, Memantine)
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