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Donepezil

Uses

This drug is prescribed for the treatment of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

IUPAC name: 2-[(1-benzylpiperidin-4-yl)methyl]-5,6-dimethoxy-2,3-dihydroindene-1-one

Drug class: Cognition enhancers; cholinesterase inhibitor

Route of administration: Oral and transdermal patch

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Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This medicine inhibits cholinesterase. It enhances memory and thinking by raising the levels of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain.

Side effects

It may result in a variety of side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, indigestion, weight loss, tremors, cramps in muscle, exhaustion, weakness, pain in stomach, and seizures.

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor: 

If you are allergic to it or to other cerebroactive drugs, or if you have any other allergies,

If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),

If you have a history of lung/breathing issues (COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, sleep apnea), cardiac disease, ulcers, irregular heart rate, hepatic disease, kidney problems, seizures (fits), urinating issues, fainting,

Donepezil may increase the risk of QT prolongation if you have certain cardiac diseases (tachycardia, heart failure, or QT prolongation).

If you have low blood levels of magnesium, potassium, or sodium, you may be more likely to experience QT prolongation (extended intervals between cardiac contraction and relaxation) when taking this medication.

This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults.

If you have undergone any type of surgery,

Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness. 

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor. 

Consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

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