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How Does Aricept Work When Treating Patients With Dementia

How Does Aricept Compare With Prevagen

Treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease | Mental health | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

Aricept and Prevagen havent been compared in clinical studies.

Prevagen is a dietary supplement. It contains a jellyfish protein called apoaequorin. This protein is thought to help protect against brain changes that may occur with aging. But its use is not regulated or approved by the FDA, and theres no evidence that Prevagen is beneficial for dementia.

Prevagen has not been studied in adults with Alzheimers disease or any type of dementia diagnosis.

Aricept, on the other hand, has results from clinical studies and FDA approval to support its use in adults with dementia due to Alzheimers disease.

If you have questions about Aricept or Prevagen, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Scientific Rationale For Donepezil 23 Mg

Functional imaging studies have shown that doses of 5-10 mg of donepezil inhibit cortical AChE activity in vivo by only 20-40% . This finding supported the idea that the current dosing of AChEIs might not achieve the maximum inhibition of cortical AChE, suggesting that higher doses of donepezil would increase AChE inhibition, potentially resulting in improved efficacy. Further, larger cholinergic deficits have been demonstrated in brain tissue samples of patients with AD with more advanced symptoms , indicating that higher AChE inhibition may be required in these patients. In clinical trials, a dose-response relationship between benefits in cognition and a higher dose of donepezil has been demonstrated in patients with AD randomized to treatment with donepezil 5 or 10 mg/day, or placebo . The benefits of the higher dose of donepezil were most apparent in studies which included patients with more advanced AD . In another study, once-daily donepezil 20 mg was found to be safe and well tolerated in subjects with mild-to-moderate AD who were stabilized on donepezil 10 mg/day . These findings supported the development of donepezil 23 mg for patients with moderate-to-severe AD.

How Effective & Safe Is Aricept In Treating Dementia Due To Alzheimers

Aricept, also called as Donepezil, is used to improve work of the human nerve cells in the brain. Aricept acts by preventing breakdown of acetylcholine . Patients suffering from dementia generally have decreased quantity of this neurotransmitter, which is very significant for the dealing with thinking, memory, judgement & reasoning. It is used to treat mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimers disease.

Also Check: Purple Ribbon Alzheimers

What If I Take Too Much

The amount of donepezil that can cause an overdose varies from person to person.

Urgent advice: Contact 111 for advice now if:

  • you take more than your usual dose of donepezil

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A& E now if:

You’ve taken more than your usual dose of donepezil and:

  • you’re feeling dizzy or sick, or you’re being sick
  • you’re drooling or sweating a lot
  • you have a slow heart rate
  • you’re having breathing problems
  • you faint or have a seizure or fit

If you need to go to A& E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.

Take the donepezil packet, or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine with you.

Backtrack On Alzheimers Disease

Dementia Medications: Donepezil, Memantine &  More

Lets review a little and discuss what Alzheimers disease is and how it affects a person diagnosed with the said illness.

Alzheimers disease is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder, which gradually destroys a persons cognitive ability mainly: memory skills, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out simple tasks.

Since this disease is related to aging, the patients are mostly in their mid-60s and others have it early, which occurs around 30s to mid-60s, which happens rarely. Now, the common point of Alzheimers symptom is dementia, which Aricept works on.

Also Check: Early Stage Dementia Treatment

How Does Namenda Work In The Body


Similarly, what are the benefits of Namenda?

Namenda reduces the actions of chemicals in the brain that may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Namenda is used to treat moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Namenda may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Furthermore, how does memantine work in the body? Memantine works by blocking the receptors in the brain that glutamate would normally bind to. This decreases the harmful effect of glutamate in the brain and may help improve your symptoms of dementia.

Likewise, can memantine be stopped suddenly?

Although memantine is widely used and generally considered safe, an abrupt cessation of memantine may result in discontinuation syndrome that can be distressing and result in decline of natural course. We report two patients who developed significant behavior disturbance after abrupt cessation of memantine.

How quickly does Memantine work?

The medication may take as long as 12 weeks to begin working and the type and length of response as well as the time it takes for patients to respond to this medication will vary from person to person.

What Are The Side

Doctors including geriatricians consider these medications to be well-tolerated. This means that most people dont experience more than mild side-effects, and serious adverse events are rare.

For cholinesterase inhibitors:

  • The most common side-effects are gastrointestinal and include nausea, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting. These affect an estimated 20% of people.
  • People tend to adjust to gastrointestinal side-effects with time. It helps to start with a small dose and gradually increase. Rivastigmine is also available in a patch formulation, which tends to cause less stomach upset.
  • In the oral formulations, donepezil tends to cause fewer side-effects than rivastigmine and galantamine.
  • Some people also experience dizziness, a slowed heart rate, headaches, or sleep changes.

For memantine:

  • Dizziness is probably the most common side-effect.
  • Some people seem to experience worsened confusion or hallucinations.
  • Memantine generally seems to cause fewer side-effects than cholinesterase inhibitors do.

Also Check: Alzheimer Ribbon

Why Is This Medication Prescribed

Donepezil is used to treat dementia in people who have Alzheimer’s disease . Donepezil is in a class of medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. It improves mental function by increasing the amount of a certain naturally occurring substance in the brain. Donepezil may improve the ability to think and remember or slow the loss of these abilities in people who have AD. However, donepezil will not cure AD or prevent the loss of mental abilities at some time in the future.

Side Effects Of Aricept

Explainer | How Does Aricept Work for Alzheimers?

Physicians often choose Aricept because of the extended duration of a single dose, which allows it to be administered only once daily. There have yet to be concrete studies declaring which Alzheimers drug is the most effective with the least amount of side effects. Generally, all the cholinesterase inhibitors used to treat Alzheimers and dementia have similar side effects.

While donepezil is usually well-tolerated amongst users, there is, as with all medications, the possibility of side effects. With Aricept, the most common side effects include:

  • Weight loss
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Some more serious side effects may include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Slowing of heart rate

As with any medication, side effects should be reported to the patients physician as promptly as possible, for the physician may recommend alternative treatments that may not pose negative drug interactions. Gastrointestinal symptoms usually subside after continuous use of donepezil, and it is common to titrate, or work up to a higher dose slowly in an effort to minimize the side effects.

Closer Look: Allisons Mom is Prescribed Aricept

Read Also: What’s The Difference Between Dementia And Alzheimer’s And Senility

Is Aricept Helpful For End Stage Alzheimer’s Information For Patients And Families

The question âIs Aricept helpful for end stage Alzheimerâs?â is one that family members of patients with this condition are likely to ask of medical professionals. Aricept, one of several medications approved for treating Alzheimerâs, can be taken by patients as a means of decelerating the diseaseâs progression. Though Aricept is commonly prescribed during the early stages of Alzheimerâs, the medication can help people in the end stages as well.

Why Does Donepezil Prolong Life Expectancy

As described above, the possible effect of donepezil on mortality is uncertain. A recent cohort study showed that donepezil use was associated with a lower risk of death and myocardial infarction, probably because of the vagotonic and anti-inflammatory properties of the drug on atherosclerosis. Given the important actions of ChEIs on the heart, Sato et al. undertook a retrospective cohort investigation to assess the effects of donepezil on cardiovascular mortality. Contrary to the drug action and the higher risk for sinus node dysfunction or cardiac conduction impairment, this analysis showed better cardiovascular and overall survival in donepezil-treated patients. This finding is supported by an animal study showing that oral donepezil improved survival in a mouse congestive heart failure model through prevention of pumping failure and cardiac remodeling . However, in our AD patents, there was no difference in heart disease between the DNP and non-DNP groups.

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How To Use Aricept

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking donepezil and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily just before bedtime. If you experience sleep problems , talk to your doctor about switching to a morning dose.

If you are taking the 23-milligram strength tablets, swallow them whole. Do not split, crush, or chew these tablets. Doing so can increase the risk of side effects.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects , your doctor will start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose over weeks to months. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than prescribed.

If you do not take donepezil for 7 or more days in row, talk with your doctor before starting again. You may need to start at a lower dose to decrease the risk of side effects.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Do not stop taking it unless your doctor instructs you to do so. It may take a several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.

Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.

How To Take Donepezil

Donepezil Can Be Toxic if Too Much Is Taken
  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about donepezil, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
  • Your caregiver will help you to take your tablets/medicine exactly as your doctor tells you to. Take one dose every day just before bedtime. It is usual to be prescribed 5 mg daily to take initially, although your dose could be increased to 10 mg daily after the first month. Donepezil can be taken either with or without food.
  • If you have been given the tablets that melt in the mouth, place the tablet on your tongue and allow it to disintegrate in your mouth before you swallow. You may find it helps to have a drink of water before and afterwards.
  • If you have been supplied with donepezil liquid medicine , you will also be given a dosing spoon with which to measure out your doses. If you are taking a 5 mg dose, fill the spoon to the 5 ml line if you are taking a 10 mg dose, fill the spoon to the 10 ml line.
  • If you forget to take a dose, do not worry, just take your dose on the following day as normal. Do not take two doses together to make up for the forgotten dose. If you forget to take donepezil for more than a week, talk with your doctor before you start to take it again, as you may need to re-start your treatment on a lower dose.

Also Check: How Long Do You Live After Being Diagnosed With Alzheimer

A Review Of Clinical Treatment Considerations Of Donepezil In Severe Alzheimer’s Disease

Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Banibrata Roy

Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Institutional Research and Assessment, Community College of Aurora, Denver, Colorado

Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Banibrata Roy

Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Institutional Research and Assessment, Community College of Aurora, Denver, Colorado

Division of Neurodegenerative Disorders, St. Boniface Hospital Research, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Do These Medications Work For Dementias Other Than Alzheimers Disease

These medications have been studied for other forms of dementia, including vascular dementia, Lewy Body dementia, Parkinsons dementia, and mixed dementia.

Studies generally find that cholinesterase inhibitors are associated with modest improvements in symptoms in these other forms of dementia.

For memantine, some research suggests it can help with vascular dementia, although the benefits again seem to be quite modest.

The effect of memantine on Lewy-Body dementia and Parkinsons dementia is less clear, with some research suggesting a small benefit but also reports that some people experience worsening hallucinations and delusions with memantine.

Recommended Reading: 7th Stage Of Alzheimer’s

How Well Does Memantine Work

In people with moderate to severe Alzheimers, memantine seems to provide some benefits, in terms of slowing the deterioration of Alzheimers. But again, the benefit overall seems to be fairly modest.

Its not at all clear that people with mild to moderate Alzheimers benefit from memantine a 2011 review concluded that the scientific evidence doesnt support this claim.

Do These Medications Work For Mild Cognitive Impairment

Treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease l Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors

Not as far as we know. The research evidence so far indicates that dementia medications do not improve outcomes for mild cognitive impairment.

However, it remains very common for patients with mild cognitive impairment to be prescribed donepezil or another cholinesterase inhibitor.

In principle, this should be done as a trial, meaning that the patient and clinician decide to try the medication, see if its helping with memory or other thinking difficulties, and stop if it doesnt appear to be helping.

In practice, many people with mild cognitive impairment end up taking the cholinesterase inhibitor indefinitely. They may be reluctant to stop, but in other cases, it may be that the prescribing doctor doesnt get around to checking on whether the medication is helping or not.

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What Other Information Should I Know

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Effect Of Aricept On Alzheimers Lewy Body Dementia And Vascular Dementia

Aricept has undergone multiple drug studies in different countries, including Sweden and Japan, that demonstrated its efficacy in treating Alzheimers disease. There continue to be studies on donepezil, including its use to treat other types of dementia and research on different delivery systems of the drug.

For example, researchers in Japan have studied donepezil in the form of a transdermal patch, but were declined FDA approval in 2011. Today, there are clinical trials being conducted on the efficacy of donepezil in treating Lewy Body Dementia. Additional research is also being conducted on the effectiveness of donepezil in treating the cognitive symptoms of Vascular Dementia. While many of these studies are ongoing or have produced mixed results, the continued effort to find other uses for Aricept may eventually deem it as an effective treatment for various other types of dementia. Certain dementias, like Frontotemporal Dementia, do not result in depleted acetylcholine levels. Donepezils mechanism of action in raising acetylcholine levels thus makes it inappropriate for alleviating cognitive symptoms in these types of dementia. Research into the causes and molecular etiology of different Types of Dementia is necessary to determine appropriate Dementia Treatment.

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Aricept Use With Other Drugs

Aricept can be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat dementia due to Alzheimers disease.

Examples of other drugs that may be used along with Aricept to treat dementia due to Alzheimers disease include:

  • memantine*

* A brand-name drug called Namzaric is available that contains both donepezil and memantine .

Accurate Diagnosis Is Important


A thorough medical examination can usually identify the specific dementia diagnosis. Knowing the diagnosis can help family members better understand and cope with their situation. For example, if a person with frontal-lobe dementia makes hurtful remarks, a well-prepared family member may better take the remarks in stride. If a person with Lewy Body dementia is talking to little people in the room, a caregiver who understands that this is common will know not to overreact.

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How The Intervention Might Work

Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter associated with memory, and abnormalities in cholinergic neurons are prominent among the pathological changes in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. One approach to lessening the impact of these abnormalities is to inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine in synapses, thereby enhancing cholinergic neurotransmission. Donepezil does this by reversibly inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase .


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