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Aricept Review Article

 

TextAricept (Generic Name: Donepezil) is an oral drug used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It belongs to the drug classification termed cholinesterase inhibitors which also include tacrine (Cognex). It is deemed by scientists that Alzheimer’s disease may be due to a deficiency in chemicals, specifically neurotransmitters, used by nerves which are inside the brain to communicate with each other. Aracept prevents acetylcholunesterase, an enzyme that causes the obliteration of one neurotransmitter which is acetylcholine. This results in more concentrations of acetylcholine in the brain. This condition is deemed to be the cause of the improvement observed during the treatment with Donepezil. Every now and then, this drug is being utilized by healthy individuals as a brain booster. It is found to be effective in memory enhancement and aids in learning. : Continue reading...

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Aricept belongs to the group of medicines called acetylcholinesterase and it contains denepezil hydrochloride as an active ingredient. It is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and it works by reducing the rate at which acetycholine is broken down in the brain.


About Aricept

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have been shown to have a lower amount of acetylcholine in their brain than the normal levels. This occurs as a result of degeneration of the acetylcholine-releasing brain cells. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter (compounds that are responsible for sending messages between nerve cells) that is stored in the nervous system and in the brain and it is essential for mental health. Another neural chemical known as acetylcholinesterase is responsible for the breakdown of the acetylcholine which is released by the nerve cells continuously. The active ingredient in Aricept prevents acetylcholinesterase from breaking down acetylcholine and in doing do increases acetylcholine levels in the brain. This helps to increase the level of acetylcholine in the brain and this helps in the treatment of dementia in Alzheimer patients albeit not a cure.


How to take

Aricept does not cure dementia however it can prevent it’s deterioration. Proper assessment of the patients is required while on the medication as this will enable the doctor to decide whether or not the patient should continue taking the drug. Should the patient show now improvement the doctor will recommend stopping the treatment and continued reassessment is required as the patient continues to stop; patients are taken off the medication once its benefit is no longer evident.


Contraindication

Aricept should not be prescribed for those who have previously shown an allergic reaction to Aricept, or any antihistamines such as Allegra, Periactin, and Atarax.


Possible Side Effects

If at all side effects occur they are often mild and ease further into the treatment. However if any should occur or become more sever, inform your doctor who will then decide best suited measure for individual case. Side effects that MAY occur include: loss of appetite diarrhoea, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and muscle cramps.


Special Warning about Aricept

Aricept should only be used to treat dementia in Alzheimer’s patients as it effectiveness in treating other forms of dementia is yet to be established. Patients on this medication require regular monitoring to ensure compliance and this drug should only be prescribed if such is available. Patients should avoid any dangerous tasks while taking Aricept as it is likely to cause, dizziness, fatigue and muscle cramps especially in the earlier treatment stage.


Drug Interaction

The tendency to show side effects may be increased if this drug is taken with other medicines which boost acetycholine activity such as pilocarpine, galantamine, rivastigmine, bethanechol chloride, distigmine, pyridostigmine bromide and edrophonium. These and other drugs may affect the effectiveness of Aricept therefore before taking any drug while on Aricept medication you should seek your doctor’s advice.


Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

This medicine is yet to be tested on pregnant women however it is likely to produce some yet unknown effect. This drug can also get into the breast milk therefore both pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not be prescribed Aricept.


 

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