1. About donepezil
Donepezil is a medication that helps with some varieties of dementia. It doesn’t remedy dementia. Nonetheless, it treats a few of the signs of Alzheimer’s illness, Parkinson’s illness or dementia with Lewy our bodies. It will possibly additionally assist with “combined dementia”. That is when you’ve a couple of kind of dementia.
Donepezil is obtainable on prescription solely. It comes as tablets, together with tablets that soften in your mouth, and as a liquid that you just drink.
2. Key info
- Donepezil can assist with signs like being forgetful or confused.
- The most typical unwanted side effects of donepezil are diarrhoea, headache and feeling sick (nausea).
- You possibly can take it with or with out meals.
- Consuming alcohol stops donepezil from working in addition to it ought to. It additionally will increase the chance of unwanted side effects.
3. Who can and can’t take donepezil
Donepezil will be taken by adults solely.
Donepezil just isn’t appropriate for some folks. To ensure this medication is secure to take, inform your physician in the event you or the particular person you are caring for have:
- had an allergic response to donepezil or different medicines prior to now
- liver issues
- ever had an ulcer in your intestine or intestines, or a abdomen ulcer
- coronary heart issues, resembling an irregular or gradual heartbeat
- bronchial asthma or different lung illness resembling COPD
- ever had a seizure or match
- a situation that makes it tough to pee
4. How and when to take it
It is best to take your donepezil at bedtime. It’s because chances are you’ll really feel dizzy after you’re taking it.
If donepezil offers you unhealthy goals or makes it onerous to sleep, you may take it within the morning as a substitute.
- All the time observe the directions that include your medication.
- Donepezil comes as 5mg or 10mg tablets.
- If you’re taking liquid donepezil, a 5ml spoonful comprises 5mg of medication (1mg/1ml).
- The standard beginning dose of donepezil is 5mg (one pill or one 5ml spoonful of liquid), taken as soon as a day.
- After a month, the physician might enhance your dose to 10mg (one 10mg pill or two 5ml spoonfuls of liquid), taken as soon as a day.
How you can take the tablets
- Swallow the tablets with a drink of water.
- Donepezil additionally comes as a pill that melts in your mouth (referred to as an “orodispersible” pill).
- Put the pill in your tongue and let it dissolve. You possibly can then swallow it with no drink. You possibly can have a drink of water afterwards if you wish to.
How you can take the liquid
Use the plastic spoon that comes together with your medication to measure out your dose. When you should not have a measuring spoon ask a pharmacist for one. Don’t use a kitchen teaspoon because it won’t give the correct quantity.
Swallow the liquid donepezil. You possibly can have a drink of water afterwards in the event you like.
What if I overlook to take it?
- When you overlook a dose of donepezil, skip the missed dose and take the subsequent one on the regular time the subsequent day.
- Don’t take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
- When you’ve forgotten to take your donepezil for greater than every week, speak to your physician earlier than you’re taking any extra.
- When you overlook doses typically, it could assist to set an alarm to remind you. You may additionally ask a health care provider, pharmacist or dementia help group for recommendation on different methods that can assist you keep in mind to take your medication.
What if I take an excessive amount of?
The quantity of donepezil that may trigger an overdose varies from individual to individual.
Pressing recommendation: Contact 111 for recommendation now if:
you’re taking greater than your typical dose of donepezil
Rapid motion required:
- You’ve got taken greater than your typical dose of donepezil and:
- you feel dizzy or sick, otherwise you’re being sick
- you are drooling or sweating loads
- you’ve a gradual coronary heart fee
- you are having respiratory issues
- you faint or have a seizure or match
If you want to go to A&E, don’t drive your self. Get another person to drive you or name for an ambulance. Take the donepezil packet, or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medication with you.
5. Unintended effects
Like all medicines, donepezil could cause unwanted side effects, though not everybody will get them.
Unintended effects are much less more likely to occur in case your physician begins you on the decrease 5mg dose for a minimum of a month.
Frequent unwanted side effects
The most typical unwanted side effects of donepezil occur in additional than 1 in 100 folks.
Speak to your physician or pharmacist if these unwanted side effects hassle you or don’t go away:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- feeling sleepy within the daytime or feeling dizzy
Critical unwanted side effects
- Lower than 1 in 100 folks have severe unwanted side effects with donepezil.
- Name a health care provider right away in the event you, or the particular person you are caring for, have:
- yellow pores and skin or the whites of your eyes flip yellow, or in case you have pale poo and darkish pee – these will be indicators of liver issues
- extreme indigestion, heartburn or abdomen ache, extreme or continued vomiting – these will be indicators of an ulcer in your abdomen or intestine
- black poo, or blood or one thing that appears like espresso grounds in your vomit – these will be indicators of inside bleeding
- muscle weak point or cramps and pains in your muscular tissues (that you just didn’t have earlier than) – these can generally be indicators of muscle and kidney issues
- excessive temperature along with stiff muscular tissues, sweating, confusion and seeing or listening to issues that aren’t there – these will be indicators of a uncommon aspect impact (referred to as neuroleptic malignant syndrome)
Rapid motion required: Name 999 and ask for an ambulance if:
- you’ve had a seizure or match
- the particular person you are caring for has a seizure or match
Critical allergic response
In uncommon circumstances, it is doable to have a severe allergic response (anaphylaxis) to donepezil.
Rapid motion required:
- you get a pores and skin rash which will embrace itchy, crimson, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
- you are wheezing
- you get tightness within the chest or throat
- you’ve bother respiratory or speaking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat begin swelling
- You may be having a severe allergic response and may have quick remedy in hospital.
These should not all of the unwanted side effects of donepezil. For a full record see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
You possibly can report any suspected aspect impact to the UK security scheme.
6. How to deal with unwanted side effects
What to do about:
diarrhoea – drink a number of fluids, resembling water or squash, to keep away from dehydration. Indicators of dehydration embrace peeing lower than typical or having darkish strong-smelling pee. Don’t take another medicines to deal with diarrhoea, together with rehydration salts, with out first talking to a pharmacist or physician
feeling sick – it could assist to keep away from consuming very wealthy, fatty or spicy meals
headache – ensure you relaxation and drink loads of fluids. If it is bothering you, ask a pharmacist to suggest a painkiller. Speak to a health care provider in case your complications last more than every week or are extreme
feeling sleepy within the daytime or feeling dizzy – strive taking your medication at evening. When you really feel dizzy or drained don’t drive or journey a motorbike till you are feeling extra alert. Speak to a health care provider if these results hassle you, or don’t get higher
As your physique will get used to donepezil, these unwanted side effects ought to put on off. If you’re nonetheless bothered by them after every week or two, communicate to a health care provider. They could need to regulate your dose or suggest a distinct medication.
7. Cautions with different medicines
Some medicines don’t combine effectively with donepezil. They will enhance the chance of unwanted side effects or cease donepezil working in addition to it ought to.
Inform your physician in the event you or the particular person you are caring for:
- take medicines used for coronary heart issues like amiodarone, atenolol, bisoprolol, digoxin and verapamil
- take medicines for epilepsy, resembling phenytoin and carbamazepine
- take anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), resembling aspirin (together with low-dose aspirin) or ibuprofen
- take risperidone, olanzapine or fluoxetine, or another medicines for psychological well being points
- take antibiotics, resembling erythromycin or rifampicin
- are on account of have common or native anaesthetic (for an operation or a minor process)
- These should not all of the medicines that intrude with donepezil.
- For a full record, see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
Taking donepezil with painkillers
It’s often OK to take paracetamol with donepezil.
Don’t take anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), resembling aspirin or ibuprofen, with out checking with a health care provider first.
Mixing donepezil with natural medicines and dietary supplements
St John’s wort can decrease the degrees of donepezil in your blood. This will cease your medication from working in addition to it ought to.
Inform a health care provider or pharmacist in the event you’re taking another medicines, together with natural treatments, nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements.
8. Frequent questions
How does it work?
Donepezil works by serving to your nerve cells talk with one another. It does this by stopping one thing referred to as acetylcholine from being damaged down in your mind. Acetylcholine is a vital substance that enables nerves to speak.
Donepezil doesn’t remedy dementia. Nonetheless, by rising the quantity of acetylcholine in your mind, donepezil can assist with signs like:
- forgetting current conversations and the place you set issues
- forgetting methods to do issues, like making a cup of tea
- considering slowly, for instance taking longer to answer to what somebody says
- discovering it extra obscure difficult issues, like managing cash
- feeling anxious
- not desirous to do issues
- It doesn’t appear to assist with signs like being agitated or aggressive.
Discover out extra about how medicine like donepezil work on the Alzheimer’s Society web site
How lengthy does it take to work?
It often takes a minimum of a month for donepezil to begin to work, however it may take longer for some folks.
Chances are you'll discover it begins to assist with: remembering issues like conversations and the place you set issues with the ability to do on a regular basis actions, like making a cup of tea concentrating on issues for longer feeling much less anxious feeling extra motivated to do issues.
Donepezil doesn't assist everybody in the identical means. Some folks discover it helps with their signs loads. For others, it may not assist in any respect. Preserve taking your donepezil every single day, except your physician tells you to cease.
You're going to get a follow-up appointment so your physician can examine how effectively the medication is working. They may also examine whether or not you've any unwanted side effects. If you're bothered by unwanted side effects, inform your physician. They can suggest a distinct medication.
How lengthy will I take it for?
You, or the particular person you might be caring for, may have common check-ups with a health care provider to see whether or not donepezil remains to be serving to. The consequences might put on off a bit 6 to 12 months after you begin taking it. Your signs might begin to steadily worsen once more, even in case you are nonetheless taking donepezil.
Speak to your physician in case you are anxious that donepezil is not working. The medication might be nonetheless serving to and in the event you cease taking it your signs may turn into even worse.
Is it secure to take for a very long time?
-There isn't any proof that donepezil will hurt you in the event you take it for a very long time.
-You'll have common check-ups to see whether or not you are getting any unwanted side effects.
-Your physician will solely proceed to prescribe this medication for so long as it is serving to.
Can I drink alcohol with it?
It is often finest to keep away from alcohol, or to chop again in your ingesting, when taking donepezil. It will possibly cease your medication from working in addition to it ought to. It will possibly additionally make you extra more likely to have unwanted side effects.
Consuming alcohol can even make the signs of dementia worse. It will possibly make you extra forgetful or confused.
Is there any meals or drink that I must keep away from?
Other than decreasing your alcohol consumption, you may eat and drink usually whereas taking donepezil.
Can I drive or journey a motorbike?
Some folks really feel sleepy or dizzy when taking donepezil. If this occurs to you, don't drive or journey a motorbike till you are feeling OK once more. When you've been recognized with dementia, you might be legally required to tell the DVLA and your automobile insurance coverage firm promptly.
This doesn't essentially imply you must cease driving instantly. Some folks with dementia choose to surrender driving as a result of they discover it nerve-racking, however others proceed driving for a while so long as it is secure for them to take action.
The DVLA will ask for medical reviews and probably a particular driving evaluation to determine whether or not you may proceed driving. For extra data, learn the Alzheimer's Society recommendation on driving and dementia.
- Alzheimer’s illness
- Dementia with Lewy our bodies
- Parkinson’s illness