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Terms Of Use


Brand Name(s) : Aricept, Aricept Evess
Side Effects


Donepezil hydrochloride should be used with caution in:

It should not be used in:

  • breastfeeding,
  • allergies to donepezil hydrochloride, or to piperidine derivatives, or any of the other ingredients,
  • severe liver disease.

Also see list of precautions and interactions


Do not store above 25°C.


What is it used for?

  • Donepezil hydrochloride is used to increase the levels of a chemical (acetylcholine) in the brain involved in memory function. It does this by slowing down the destruction of acetylcholine.
  • It belongs to a group of medicines called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
  • It is used to treat symptoms of dementia.
  • In general this drug is used in Alzheimer's disease
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include the treatment of the symptoms of dementia in people diagnosed as having mild and moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms include increasing memory loss, confusion and behavioural changes.

Listed below are the typical uses of donepezil hydrochloride.


How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication orally usually in the evening, before going to bed.
  • Your doctor will advise you on how to take your medication. Depending on your particular medicine, you can either swallow the tablet with a glass of water, or place the orodispersible tablet on the tongue and allow it to dissolve before swallowing with or without water.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. You will need to see your doctor from time to time to review your treatment and assess your symptoms.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take up to one month before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • Alzheimer’s disease may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery and you must not perform these activities unless your doctor tells you that it is safe to do so.
  • Also, your medicine can cause tiredness, dizziness and muscle cramp. If you experience any of these effects you must not drive or operate machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.


If you have any of the side effects listed, or any not listed, inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • liver damage e.g. hepatitis. The symptoms of hepatitis are feeling or being sick, loss of appetite, feeling generally unwell, fever, itching, yellowing of the skin and eyes, and dark coloured urine;
  • stomach or duodenal ulcers. The symptoms of ulcers are stomach pain and discomfort (indigestion) felt between the navel and the breast bone;
  • bleeding in the stomach or intestines. This may cause you to pass black tar like stools or visible blood from the rectum;
  • seizures (fits) or convulsions.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking donepezil hydrochloride, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other acetylcholinesterase inhibitor; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • breastfeeding,
  • allergies to donepezil hydrochloride, or to piperidine derivatives, or any of the other ingredients,
  • severe liver disease.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following:

  • stomach or duodenal ulcers,
  • seizures (fits) or convulsions,
  • a heart condition (irregular or very slow heart beat),
  • asthma or other long term lung disease,
  • liver problems or hepatitis,
  • difficulty passing urine or mild kidney disease,
  • pregnancy.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Donepezil hydrochloride should not be taken with alcohol because alcohol may change its effect.

The elderly: donepezil hydrochloride can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


The safety of donepezil hydrochloride has not been established during pregnancy and should not be used unless clearly necessary. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Donepezil hydrochloride is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with donepezil:

  • Other Alzheimer’s disease medicines, e.g. galantamine
  • Pain killers or treatment for arthritis e.g. aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs such as ibuprofen, or diclofenac sodium
  • Anticholinergic medicines, e.g. tolterodine
  • Antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, rifampicin
  • Anti-fungal medicine e.g. ketoconazole
  • Anti-depressants e.g. fluoxetine
  • Anticonvulsants e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine
  • Medicines for a heart condition e.g. quinidine, beta-blockers (propranolol and atenolol)
  • Muscle relaxants e.g. diazepam, succinylcholine
  • General anaesthetic

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


Always take the tablets and the carton with you to the hospital so that the doctor knows what has been taken.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of donepezil hydrochloride or intentional overdose is suspected, immediately contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you forget to take a tablet, just take one tablet the following day at the usual time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten tablet.
If you forget to take your medicine for more than one week, call your doctor before taking any more medicine.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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