Donepezil: A Medication That Moderates Alzheimer`s Disease

Donepezil is a drug developed by Eisai along with the partnership of Pfizer. Donepezil, which is sold under the trade name of Aricept, is used in case of mild and moderate Alzheimer`s disease, with some contradictions. The contradictions are that, though drugs like Donepezil is used for the treatment of Alzheimer`s, but it cannot stop the disease from progressing. In fact, such drugs like Donepezil have negative side effects on people with cardiac or chronic stomach issues. The chemical formula of this drug is C24H29NO3. But due to its oral bioavailability, this drug has been popular in the market for many years.

How Donepezil Works: Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter of the brain and our human body, which helps us in remembering and learning. It is directly associated with the memory power of the brain. An enzyme name acetyl cholinesterase helps in braking down acetylcholine. In case of people facing Alzheimer`s disease, the level of acetylcholine is very less. Thus, Donepezil helps in increasing the level of this neurotransmitter. Donepezil is a reversible inhibitor type of drug, which stops the activity of acetyl cholinesterase, and hence the level of acetylcholine increases within the body. Donepezil actually cannot treat the main cause of this disease, and is only used in some cases.

Dosage Of Donepezil: Donepezil is generally administered orally in case of Alzheimer`s patients. From mild to moderate level, Donepezil is given as 5 mg to 10 mg dose regularly, for a definite period of treatment. In a lot of cases, it has been seen that 10 mg of Donepezil has not been more effective than 5 mg. But then again 10 mg of Donepezil is supposed to be more effective for people who are less reactive towards the drug. The drug dose can also be changed based on its efficacy, and based on the age of the individual undergoing the treatment.

Precautions And Side Effects Of Donepezil: Donepezil does not have any general effect on the pregnancy or the breast feeding conditions of a patient. But, the person must make sure that the doctor prescribing Donepezil knows about the medical history very well before making any decisions about the treatment.
Generally, Donepezil has little or no side effects at all. In most cases, it has been seen that only overdose or allergic conditions can lead to some symptoms. General side effects of Donepezil, which has been seen are symptoms like diarrhea, giddiness, weakness and weight loss, loss in normal appetite, cramps in the muscle region, nausea, tendency to vomit, slight insomnia etc. Donepezil even shows some allergic symptoms in some cases like blood in the stools, rash in various parts of the skin, inflammation in areas of the mouth like the lips or tongue, pain while urinating, upset stomach, breathlessness etc.

Drug Interactions Seen With Donepezil: Donepezil shows 11 major and 450 moderate drug interactions. The drugs with which Donepezil interacts majorly are Tramadol, Bupropion, Sodium phosphate, Iopamidol, Iohexol, Sodium sulfate, Acetaminophen etc... The drugs with which Donepezil reacts moderately are Diphenhydramine, Pseudoephedrine, Aripiprazole, Phenyltoloxamine, Codeine, Salicylamide, Nifedipine, etc... Donepezil even shows some interactions with higher level of alcoholism and chronic liver diseases. Therefore, people under the treatment of any of the above drugs must inform the doctor immediately. Based on the medical history, the dose might be decreased and even stopped in certain cases.

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