What is Donepezil?
Donepezil is a medication which helps in improving the function of the nerve cells in the brain. It works by stopping the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is crucial for the processes of memory, thinking, and reasoning. The level of this chemical is usually lower than normal in people with dementia.
Donepezil is prescribed mainly for people with mild to moderate dementia induced by Alzheimerâ€™s disease. It is sold under various trade names, some of which are Aricept and Donep (made by Alkem). Donepezil may also be given for treatments not listed here.
Important Information about Donepezil
You should inform your doctor in advance before taking Donepezil Alzheimerâ€™s medication (Aricept, Donep) if you have any of these conditions: heart disease, a heart rhythm disorder, urination problems, stomach ulcers or bleeding, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a seizure disorder, asthma, kidney disease, or liver disease.
Immediately stop using Donepezil medication and seek medical attention if you experience chest pain, low heart rate, bloody stools, coughing up blood, reduced urination, weakness, confusion, extreme thirst, or hot or dry skin.
There are several drugs which can interact with Donepezil. Notify your doctor about all medications and related products (OTC vitamin pill, herbal products and others) which you may be using prior to taking this medication.
If you are scheduled for a surgery, you may be required to suspend taking Donepezil for a short period. Let your surgeon know well in advance that you are taking this medication. Donepezil may impact your thinking capabilities and reflexes. So take extra care while indulging in activities that require a high degree of mental awareness and thinking such as driving.
Donepezil is a FDA pregnancy category C drug. This medication may be harmful to unborn baby if taken while being pregnant. Notify your doctor of you pregnancy or any plans to become pregnant. It is not known if Donepezil can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without asking a doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
Before taking Donepezil
Before taking Donepezil (Aricept, Donep), take care of all precautions mentioned above and discuss them with your doctor.
How should I take Donepezil?
Take Donepezil Alzheimerâ€™s medication (Aricept, Donep) strictly according to your doctorâ€™s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Your doctor may occasionally change the dosage to get the maximum benefit out of the medication. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over.
Donepezil is normally taken at bedtime. Take the normal oral tablet with a full glass of water. Always store Donepezil medication in a cool and dry place.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Donepezil, take it as soon as you remember. Donâ€™t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Donepezil, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immetiately. Overdose may lead to symptoms like severe nausea, vomiting, cramps in stomach, muscle weakness or spasm, watery eyes, drooling, increased urination or bowel movements, sweating, slow heart rate, light headedness, or seizures.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Donepezil
Donepezil may impact your thinking capabilities and reflexes. So take extra care while indulging in activities that require a high degree of mental awareness and thinking such as driving.
Side Effects due to Donepezil
You may witness or experience some side effects while taking Donepezil (Aricept, Donep). Some of the side effects due to Donepezil are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, appetite loss, or weight loss. Seek emergency medical attention if any of these effects persist for a longer period or deteriorate further.
Any serious side effect is rare but get in touch with your doctor immediately if you have any of these serious side effects of Donepezil: fainting, unusually slow heartbeat, difficulty while urinating, seizures, black or bloody stools, bloody vomit that looks like coffee grounds, stomach pain/abdominal pain, or irregular heartbeat
These are not the only side effects of Donepezil medication. There may be others. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any serious side effects or if your condition worsens after taking Donepezil.
Donepezil Dosing Information
Donepezil dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be fixed by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to obey your doctor strictly for best results.
Interaction with other drugs
Some drugs can interact with Donepezil. Let your doctor know in advance if you are already using any of these interacting drugs: erythromycin,
galantamine, paroxetine, antifungal medicine like ketoconazole or others, rivastigmine, atropine, belladonna, scopolamine, bladder or urinary medicines such as darifenacin, flavoxate, oxybutynin or others, bronchodilators such as ipratropium or tiotropium, irritable bowel medicines such as dicyclomine, hyoscyamine, or propantheline, ulcer medications like mepenzolate or glycopyrrolate, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, celecoxib, naproxen, or others.
The list of drugs mentioned here in this guide is not a complete one and there may be other interacting drugs. Share the list of all present medication which you may be using with your doctor. Never start a new medication on your own.
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