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Chemical Name DONEPEZIL (doh-NEP-eh-zil)
ARICEPT is used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease by improving the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by preventing the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine. People with dementia usually have lower levels of this chemical, which is important for the processes of memory, thinking, and reasoning.
Note: ARICEPT will not cure Alzheimer's disease, and it will not stop the disease from getting worse.
Take ARICEPT exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
ARICEPT is usually taken at bedtime and can be taken with or without food or milk. Take the tablets with a full glass of water.
Keep the tablet in its tightly closed container until you are ready to take the medicine. Using dry hands obtain the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away. Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. After the tablet dissolves completely, drink a glass of water.
Before using ARICEPT, patients should be aware of some essential safety information. Please see below:
- tell your doctor if you have a heart rhythm disorder such as "sick sinus syndrome" (slow heartbeats), an enlarged prostate, urination problems, asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, or a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.
- inform your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking ARICEPT because it can cause heart defects or serious lung problems in a newborn if you take the medication during pregnancy
- Inform your surgeon that you are taking ARICEPT if you need to have any type of surgery
- ARICEPT can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert
- are allergic to donepezil or any other chemical contained in this medication
- a heart rhythm disorder such as "sick sinus syndrome" (slow heartbeats)
- a history of stomach ulcers
- an enlarged prostate or urination problems
- epilepsy or other seizure disorder
- asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Side effects may vary for each individual depending on the person's disease state, age, weight, gender, ethnicity and general health. When side effects of a drug or medication are severe, the dosage may be adjusted or a second medication may be prescribed. Lifestyle or dietary changes may also help to minimize side effects. Patients can usually find the complete list of side effects with their medication.
Serious side effects of ARICEPT may include:
- allergic reaction including hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- black, bloody, or tarry stools
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds
- painful or difficult urination
- seizure (black-out or convulsions)
- nausea or vomiting
- loss of appetite
- muscle cramps
- tired feeling
- sleep problems (insomnia)
Product Code: 1347
What is a Generic Drug?
A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.
The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.
Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.