Aricept tablets and Aricept Evess tablets both contain the active ingredient donepezil hydrochloride, which is a type of medicine called an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It works by slowing the breakdown of a compound in the brain called acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is a natural compound known as a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are stored in nerve cells in the brain and nervous system, and are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. They are necessary for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system. Acetylcholine in the brain is continually being released by nerve cells, and then broken down by another natural chemical called acetylcholinesterase.
One of the features of Alzheimer's disease appears to be a lower than normal level of acetylcholine in the brain. This is due in part to degeneration of brain cells, in particular those that normally release acetylcholine.
Donepezil increases the level of acetylcholine in the brain. It does this by preventing the action of acetylcholinesterase, the compound that normally breaks it down. This slows the breakdown of acetylcholine that is released from remaining undamaged nerve cells in the brain.
The result of this is increased activity of acetylcholine in the brain. This improves the cognitive processes of thinking, learning and memory, and improves the symptoms of dementia and daily functioning in Alzheimer's disease.
Donepezil is used to treat mild to moderately severe dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease. However, it only slows the worsening of the dementia, rather than being a cure. As a result, your doctor will want to re-assess the patient after they have been taking the medicine for two to four months at the maintenance dose. If there has been no improvement in their symptoms, or they continue to deteriorate, your doctor may decide it is not worth continuing the medicine. For patients who continue treatment, the benefit of the medicine should be reassessed on a regular basis. The medicine should be stopped when it is considered that it is no longer providing a beneficial effect.
Aricept tablets are standard tablets. Aricept Evess tablets are known as 'orodispersible tablets'. They are designed to disintegrate on the tongue in the saliva and then be swallowed either with or without a drink, as the patient prefers. These tablets may be useful for people who don't like to take or can't swallow standard tablets. Both types of tablet should be taken once a day, in the evening before going to bed.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drug's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines the patient is already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before they start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before any new medicines are taken with this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
This medicine should not be taken with other medicines that increase the activity of acetylcholine, as this may increase the risk of side effects. These medicines include the following:
This medicine has an opposite effect to anticholinergic medicines, which work by decreasing the activity of acetylcholine. If taken together, anticholinergic medicines and donepezil could therefore oppose each other's effects, which could make one or both medicines less effective. As a result, anticholinergic medicines should be avoided by people taking donepezil. They include the following:
The following medicines may possibly increase the amount of donepezil in the blood:
The following medicines may possibly decrease the amount of donepezil in the blood:
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain donepezil as the active ingredient.