Aricept SR (Donepezil)

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What is Aricept SR (Donepezil) prescribed for?

Dementia is a general term for symptoms that coincide with a mental decline that interfere with an individual’s daily life. It is not a normal part of aging. The symptoms can include problems with memory, communication, and thought process. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. And Symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin slowly and get worse over time.

Aricept is used to treat the dementia, or rather the confusion that comes with dementia, that is related to Alzheimer’s disease. While it does not cure Alzheimer’s disease, it may improve memory, awareness and the ability to function.  This medication blocks enzymes, and works by restoring the natural substances (neotransmitters) in the brain.

Read any information given to you by your doctor, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this information, speak with your doctor and ask for their advice.

This medication is taken by mouth, with or without food. Often taken once daily, just before bedtime.  However, if you experience sleep problems such as insomnia, talk to your doctor about switching to a morning dose.

Do not remove the tablet from its pouch until you are ready to take it. Dry hands before handling the medication. Once the pouch is open, peel back the foil layer. Do not push the tablet through the foil, because that may damage it the tablet.  Instead, place the dose on your tongue where it will quickly dissolve.  After the tablet is completely dissolved, drink a glass of water.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, To reduce the risk of side effects, your doctor will more then likely start this medication with a lower dose and then gradually increase your dose over the next few weeks or months. If you do not take donepezil for 7 or more days in a row, talk with your doctor before starting again. You may need to start again at a lower dose.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to donepezil or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), fainting, seizures, stomach/intestinal disease (such as ulcers, bleeding), trouble urinating (such as enlarged prostate).

Donepezil may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm known as QT prolongation. QT prolongation can rarely cause seriously fast/irregular heartbeats and other symptoms such as dizziness and fainting. Please seek medical attention right away if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite/weight loss, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, trouble sleeping, shakiness (tremor), or muscle cramps may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. These effects usually last 1-3 weeks and then lessen. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur: trouble urinating, severe stomach/abdominal pain, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, seizures. And Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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