donepezil, Aricept, Aricept ODT

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GENERIC NAME: donepezil

BRAND NAME: Aricept, Aricept ODT

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Donepezil is an oral medication used to treat Alzheimer's disease. It belongs to a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors that also includes tacrine (Cognex). Scientists believe that Alzheimer's disease may result from a deficiency in chemicals (neurotransmitters) used by nerves in the brain to communicate with one another. Donepezil inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme responsible for the destruction of one neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. This leads to increased concentrations of acetylcholine in the brain, and the increased concentrations are believed to be responsible for the improvement seen during treatment with donepezil. Donepezil improves the symptoms but does not slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Donepezil was approved by the FDA in 1996.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 5, 10 and 23 mg. Tablets (orally disintegrating tablets): 5 and 10 mg.

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Donepezil is used for the treatment of mild, moderate, or severe dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease.

DOSING: Donepezil is generally taken once daily at night prior to retiring. Its absorption is not affected by food so that it may be taken with or without food. Mild to moderate disease is treated with 5 or 10 mg once daily. Moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease is treated with 10 or 23 mg daily.




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