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Donepezil Hydrochloride Oral tablet

What is this medicine?

DONEPEZIL (doe NEP e zil) is used to treat mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You may take this medicine with or without food. Take this medicine at regular intervals. This medicine is usually taken before bedtime. Do not take it more often than directed. Continue to take your medicine even if you feel better. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

If you are taking the 23 mg donepezil tablet, swallow it whole; do not cut, crush, or chew it.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • changes in vision

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • problems with balance

  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

  • slow heartbeat, or palpitations

  • stomach pain

  • unusual bleeding or bruising, red or purple spots on the skin

  • vomiting

  • weight loss

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea, especially when starting treatment

  • headache

  • indigestion or heartburn

  • loss of appetite

  • muscle cramps

  • nausea

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • certain medicines for fungal infections like itraconazole, fluconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole

  • cisapride

  • dextromethorphan; quinidine

  • dofetilide

  • dronedarone

  • pimozide

  • quinidine

  • thioridazine

  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold

  • atropine

  • bethanechol

  • carbamazepine

  • certain medicines for bladder problems like oxybutynin, tolterodine

  • certain medicines for Parkinson's disease like benztropine, trihexyphenidyl

  • certain medicines for stomach problems like dicyclomine, hyoscyamine

  • certain medicines for travel sickness like scopolamine

  • dexamethasone

  • ipratropium

  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen

  • other medicines for Alzheimer's disease

  • other medicines that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)

  • phenobarbital

  • phenytoin

  • rifampin, rifabutin or rifapentine

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose, do not take double or extra doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • asthma or other lung disease

  • difficulty passing urine

  • head injury

  • heart disease

  • history of irregular heartbeat

  • liver disease

  • seizures (convulsions)

  • stomach or intestinal disease, ulcers or stomach bleeding

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to donepezil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check with your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 7/30/2015
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