- What is tacrine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Is tacrine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for tacrine?
- What are the uses for tacrine?
- What are the side effects of tacrine?
- What is the dosage for tacrine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with tacrine?
- Is tacrine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about tacrine?
What is tacrine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- Tacrine is an oral medication used to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease.
- Tacrine is in a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors that also includes rivastigmine (Exelon), donepezil (Aricept), and galantamine (Razadyne - formerly Reminyl). Cholinesterase inhibitors inhibit (block) the action of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for the destruction of acetylcholine.
- Acetylcholine is one of several neurotransmitters in the brain, chemicals that nerve cells use to communicate with one another. Reduced levels of acetylcholine in the brain are believed to be responsible for some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. By blocking the enzyme that destroys acetylcholine, rivastigmine increases the concentration of acetylcholine in the brain, and this increase is believed to be responsible for the improvement in thinking seen with tacrine.
- Tacrine was approved by the FDA in 1993.
Is tacrine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
Do I need a prescription for tacrine?
What are the uses for tacrine?
Tacrine is used for the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's type.
What are the side effects of tacrine?
The most common side effect of tacrine is an increase in a liver test called alanine aminotransferase (ALT) as a result of liver damage. When a patient starts taking tacrine, blood is drawn on a weekly basis to measure ALT. If there is an increase in blood ALT, the dosage of tacrine can be reduced. Other side effects of tacrine include:
Quick GuideDementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and Aging Brains
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