Aricept, also called as Donepezil, is used to improve work of the human nerve cells in the brain. Aricept acts by preventing breakdown of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter). Patients suffering from dementia generally have decreased quantity of this neurotransmitter, which is very significant for the dealing with thinking, memory, judgement & reasoning. It is used to treat mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease.
How Effective is Aricept in Treating Dementia Due to Alzheimer’s?
The usage of Aricept is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia will advance over a period of time and its symptoms will manifest themselves accordingly even in subjects who are taking Aricept or donepezil. Aricept is effective in treating mild to moderate symptoms of dementia caused by alzheimer’s disease.
Before using this drug, you should tell your doctor if you have a history of cardiac arrhythmias like slow heartbeat rates, or hyperplasia of prostate, urinary tract problems, OPD or obstructive pulmonary illness, asthma or some sort of convulsive disorder like an epilepsy etc.
Also, if you have to undergo any sort of surgery, then you should also tell your surgeon about use of this drug. Its side effects include impact on your thinking, mood or reactions so those activities which require serious attention or alertness like driving should be avoided during its use.
What is the Recommended Dosage for Aricept Due to Alzheimer’s?
Usual Adult Dose of Aricept for Dementia Because of Alzheimer’s Disease:
Starting dose: 5 mg given orally once a day, in the evening just before retiring.
For Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease:
Maintenance Dose: 10 mg given orally once a day, after starting dose of 5 mg once every 24 hours for 4 to 6 weeks.
For Moderate to Severe Alzheimer’s Disease:
Maintenance Dose: 23 mg given orally once a day, after starting dose of 10 mg once every 24 hours for at least 3 months.
Note: Sometimes, higher dose of 10 mg can give statistically significant clinical benefit over a 5 mg usual dose. Doctor’s and patient’s preference should be involved for such therapeutic measure.
Take this drug in exactly the way as it is prescribed. Follow all instructions on the doctors prescription. Never take this drug in larger / smaller quantity or for a long duration of time than that is recommended. Aricept can be taken with or without food.
While taking Aricept in Orally Disintegrating Tablet form:
- Keep aricept as such in its pack unless you are about to take it. Unseal the cover and cut or peel the backing from the blister of the drug. Never push the aricept through the backing otherwise you will spoil the tablet.
- Keep your hands dry while removing the aricept and placing it in your mouth cavity.
- Never swallow aricept as such. Instead allow it to disintegrate within your mouth without mastication (chewing).
- Swallow little pieces as aricept dissolves. After the aricept is disintegrated completely, then drink a glass full of water.
- If you have to undergo any sort of surgery or some dental work, then tell the doctor about it use and most of the times you have to pause using this drug for a time being.
- You can’t stop is use without the advice of your doctor.
- It should be kept at 25°C and away from the heat and moisture.
How Safe is Aricept in Treating Dementia Due to Alzheimer’s?
Aricept is safe to use but it can trigger allergic reactions such as hives, swelling of face, lips, throat or tongue and difficulty in breathing etc. In such cases, emergency medical help is required. Stop its use and immediately consult your doctor if there is:
- Seizures, Fits or Convulsions;
- Worsening or New Breathing Complications;
- Difficult or Painful Urination;
- Slow Heartbeats;
- A Light-Headed Feeling;
- Symptoms of peptic bleeding-like severe heart burn or pain in the abdomen, blood in stools, coughing bloody sputum etc…
Other Common Side Effects of Aricept are:
Aricept can be effectively and safely used for mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer’s disease type dementia.