What is this medication?
DONEPEZIL (doe NEP e zil) treats memory loss and confusion (dementia) in people who have Alzheimer disease. It works by improving attention, memory, and the ability to engage in daily activities. It is not a cure for dementia or Alzheimer disease.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Aricept
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Asthma or other lung disease
- Difficulty passing urine
- Head injury
- Heart disease
- History of irregular heartbeat
- Liver disease
- Seizures (convulsions)
- Stomach or intestinal disease, ulcers or stomach bleeding
- An unusual or allergic reaction to donepezil, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You may take this medication with or without food. Take this medication at regular intervals. This medication is usually taken before bedtime. Do not take it more often than directed. Continue to take your medication even if you feel better. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice.
If you are taking the 23 mg donepezil tablet, swallow it whole; do not cut, crush, or chew it.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose, do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
- Certain medications for fungal infections like itraconazole, fluconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole
- Dextromethorphan; quinidine
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold
- Certain medications for bladder problems like oxybutynin, tolterodine
- Certain medications for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl
- Certain medications for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine
- Certain medications for travel sickness like scopolamine
- NSAIDs, medications for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
- Other medications for Alzheimer's disease
- Other medications that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)
- Rifampin, rifabutin or rifapentine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Check with your care team if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Peptic ulcer—burning stomach pain, loss of appetite, bloating, burping, heartburn, nausea, vomiting
- Slow heartbeat—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, confusion, trouble breathing, unusual weakness or fatigue
- Stomach bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds
- Trouble passing urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain or cramps
- Trouble sleeping
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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