Donepezil Alvogen (donepezil-hydrochloride) belongs to the group of drugs known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, and it is also a nootropic (cognitive-enhancing) drug, more popularly known as "smart drug".
Donepezil increases the level of acetylcholine substance in brain. This change gets involved in the processes of memory, by slowing down the degradation process of acetylcholine.
This medicine is used for the treatment of the symptoms of dementia present in people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include loss of memory, confusion, and changes in behavior. Therefore, those who are affected by Alzheimer's disease hardly carry on with their usual daily routines. This nootropic drug was proven to mitigate the symptoms of this disease.
Being a nootropic and thus acting as memory-enhancing agent, it is also used among the rest of the population, among people who want to improve their memory and intellectual capacity. However, Donepezil is not recommended for that kind of free use due to its potential side-effects.
People who should not take Donepezil
In order to maintain a good mental and physical condition, it is of great significance to know when and how to use Donepezil. For example, you should not take it if you are allergic to donepezil-hydrochloride, piperidine derivatives, or to any other component of the medicine. In the case of intolerance to some sweeteners, notify your doctor before taking this drug, because it contains lactose.
Likewise, nobody suffering from stomach and duodenal ulcer, a kidney or liver disease, especially hepatitis, or asthma and other chronic lung diseases, should take Donepezil. The same goes for people who have epileptic seizures, a heart disease, or trouble urinating.
List of drugs not to be used while taking Donepezil
There are many different classes of drugs that interact with Donepezil. This is a detailed list of those drugs:
- Other drugs used for treatment of Alzheimer' disease, like Galantamine;
- Analgesics; ,
- Drugs for treating arthritis, such as Aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), like Ibuprofen or Diclofenac-Sodium;
- Anticholinergic drugs, such as Tolterodine (used in cases of uncontrolled urinating (urinal incontinence));
- Antibiotics, such as Erythromycin and Rifampicin;
- Fungicides, such as Ketoconazole;
- Antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac;
- Antiepileptic drugs, such as Phenytoin and Carbamazepine';
- Drugs for heart diseases, such as Quinidine, beta-blockers (Propranolol and Atenolol);
- Muscle relaxants, such as Diazepam and Succinylcholine;
- General antiseptics;
- Drugs without prescription, including herbal cures.
Avoid taking those drugs while using Donepezil and inform your doctor what drugs you have been taking until then.
If you are going to have a surgery that requires general anesthesia, tell your doctor or anesthesiologist that you use Donepezil, because this medicine can affect the amount of anesthetic you need to receive.
Donepezil Alvogen is intended only for adults. The standard dosage is one pill of 5 mg each night (one white pill), and a month later, your doctor can increase your dosage to 10 mg each night (one yellow pill). Take one pill of Donepezil in the evening, just before going to bed. Maximum recommended dosage is 10 mg a day. Do not change the dosage without consulting the doctor.
Symptoms of overdose include a feeling of weakness and nausea, drooling, sweating, slow heart rate, low blood pressure (you could feel glimmering in front of your eyes or dizziness while you are standing), difficulty with breathing, loss of consciousness, epileptic attacks (cramps), etc.
List of potential side-effects
Very common side effects (more than 1 out of 10 people), reported by both patients and anyone using Donepezil for improving memory ability, include diarrhea, nausea, headache, muscle cramps, tiredness, insomnia, cold, loss of appetite, hallucinations, unusual dreams, including nightmares, restlessness, aggressive behavior, loss of consciousness, dizziness, an unpleasant feeling in the stomach, rash, uncontrolled urination, etc.
Some of the registered side effects in patients that used Donepezil include also:
- Liver damage - hepatitis. A rare side-effect. Symptoms of hepatitis are feeling of weakness, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, rash, yellow color of skin, and dark colored urine.
- Stomach or duodenal ulcer. Symptoms are pain and unpleasant feeling in the stomach between bellybutton and the chest bone. It occurs occasionally.
- Bleeding in the stomach or bowels. Blood can appear black as tar, and bloody stool can be noticeable with a naked eye. It occurs occasionally (1 out of 1000).
- Epileptic seizure. Occurs occasionally.
Less common side-effects are slow heart rate, muscle stiffness, tremor, uncontrolled motions, especially of face and tongue, but also of limbs, and behavioral and mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. The latter is a common consequence of taking nootropic drugs, despite their effect of elevating mood and energy, since the effect does not last too long.
If you notice any of these side-effects, or even those that are not listed here, please do notify your doctor or pharmacist.