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Side Effects Of Donepezil

Side Effects Of Donepezil

What is donepezil?

Donepezil is a prescription drug. It comes in two oral tablet forms: oral tablet and oral disintegrating tablet (ODT).

Donepezil oral tablet is available as the brand-name drug Aricept. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.

Why it’s used

Donepezil is used to treat dementia due to mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer’s disease. This drug isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but it may help slow down how quickly your symptoms progress. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease will get worse over time, even if you take medications such as donepezil.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor in order to improve your condition as much as possible. Do not take more of it or less of it, and do not take it more or less often than your doctor ordered.

Donepezil should be taken at bedtime unless otherwise directed by your doctor. It may be taken with or without food, on a full or empty stomach.

Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

For patients using the oral disintegrating tablet form of this medicine:

  • Make sure your hands are dry.
  • Do not push the tablet through the foil backing of the package. Instead, gently peel back the foil backing and remove the tablet.
  • Immediately place the tablet on top of the tongue.
  • Do not swallow the tablet whole. The tablet will dissolve in seconds, and you may swallow it with your saliva. You should drink a glass of water after the tablet has dissolved.

For patients taking the oral solution form of this medicine:

  • Shake the bottle well before measuring the dose.
  • Use a specially marked measuring spoon, a plastic syringe, or a small marked measuring cup to measure each dose accurately. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.
  • If your dose is 5 mg, you should take 5 mL of this medicine.
  • If your dose is 10 mg, you should take 10 mL of this medicine.

What are the possible side effects of donepezil?

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with donepezil. Just because a side effect is stated here, it doesn't mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

Very common (affect more than 1 in 10 people)

·         Diarrhoea.

·         Nausea.

·         Headache.

Common (affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people)

·         Loss of appetite.

·         Hallucinations.

·         Aggressive behaviour.

·         Agitation.

·         Abnormal dreams and nightmares.

·         Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).

·         Dizziness or fatigue.

·         Fainting.

·         Rash or itching.

·         Muscle cramps.

·         Urinary incontinence.

·         Vomiting.

Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)

·         Seizures.

·         Slow heart rate (bradycardia).

·         Ulceration or bleeding in the stomach or intestines.

Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)

·         Abnormal movements of the hands, legs, face, neck and tongue, eg tremor, twitching, rigidity (extrapyramidal effects).

·         Liver disorders, eg hepatitis.

·         Slowed conduction of electrical messages between the chambers of the heart (atrioventricular block).

Very rare (affect fewer than 1 in 10,000 people)

High temperature combined with falling levels of consciousness, paleness, sweating and a fast heart beat (neuroleptic malignant syndrome). This requires stopping the medicine and immediate medical treatment - see important information section above.

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