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donepezil (oral) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking donepezil (Aricept, Aricept ODT)?

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to donepezil.

Before taking donepezil, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • a heart rhythm disorder such as "sick sinus syndrome" (slow heartbeats);
  • a history of stomach ulcers;
  • an enlarged prostate or urination problems;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
  • asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take donepezil.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether donepezil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take donepezil (Aricept, Aricept ODT)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking donepezil. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Donepezil can be taken with or without food or milk.

Take the donepezil regular tablets with a full glass of water.

To take donepezil orally disintegrating tablet (Aricept ODT):

  • Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package and peel or cut the backing from the tablet blister. Do not push a tablet through the backing or you may damage the tablet.
  • Using dry hands, remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away.
  • Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
  • Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. After the tablet dissolves completely, drink a glass of water.

Donepezil is usually taken at bedtime. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Store donepezil at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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