donepezil, Aricept, Aricept ODT (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical Editor:

Other important side effects include:

Tacrine (Cognex), another anticholinesterase medication used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, is associated with liver toxicity. Donepezil does not appear to be associated with liver toxicity.

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).

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.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drugs with anti-cholinergic properties that can cross into the brain, such as atropine, benztropine (Cogentin), and trihexyphenidyl (Artane) counteract the effects of donepezil and should be avoided during therapy with donepezil.

Donepezil is metabolized (eliminated) by enzymes in the liver. The rate of metabolism of donepezil may be increased by medications that increase the amounts of these enzymes, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), dexamethasone (Decadron), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), and rifampin (Rifadin). By increasing elimination, these drugs may reduce the effects of donepezil.

Ketoconazole (Nizoral) has been shown to block the enzymes in the liver that metabolize donepezil. Therefore, concurrent use of ketoconazole and donepezil may result in increased concentrations of donepezil in the body and possibly lead to donepezil side effects. Quinidine (Quinidex, Quinaglute) also has been shown to inhibit the enzymes that metabolize donepezil and may cause donepezil side effects.

PREGNANCY: It is not known whether donepezil is harmful to the fetus. Safe use during pregnancy has not been established.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/30/2014


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index