Aricept is commonly used to treat dementia and other issues associated with Alzheimer's disease. It uses cholinesterase inhibitors to improve mental function, in order to ideally help patients to better enjoy daily living without fear or other side effects of the disease that make daily function difficult.
Indications of Aricept
Aricept is prescribed in a dissolvable tablet that is placed on the tongue. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage. It is common for doctors to increase the dose after 4 to 6 weeks to ensure that patients suffer minimal side effects. You do not need to take Aricept with food. It is recommended that the patient follow their dose with a glass of water to facilitate complete absorption of the medication.
Common Side Effects of Aricept
The most common Aricept side effects associated with Aricept involve digestive distress. This may include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. These issues tend to resolve over time as the body becomes familiar with the medication. If these conditions persist or become extremely bothersome, contact your doctor who may put you on an alternate prescription to decrease your discomfort.
Other common Aricept side effects include insomnia, headache, pain, dizziness, fatigue, and muscle cramps. These symptoms are incredibly common and tend to be quite mild. As with the digestive effects, they tend to get less severe over time. Any side effects that are extremely severe or persistent should be reported to your doctor so that you can have your prescription adjusted appropriately.
Allergic reactions have been reported in some cases. These can include swelling of the face, black stool, mental distress, or difficulties breathing. These symptoms have become extremely severe for some. If you notice any of these symptoms, especially those involving bleeding, contact your health care provider immediately. If you are having trouble breathing, contact emergency services.
Uncommon and Rare Aricept Side Effects
In some cases, Aricept has led to instances of fainting or seizures. While these conditions are rare, they are quite serious and should immediately be reported to a health care provider. Fainting is significantly more common for patients that are already suffering from heart or lung issues. If the side effects are severe, it may be necessary to get emergency care. Discuss whether or not you should continue your prescription with a health care provider.
Heart or lung conditions, asthma, or ulcers may be worsened while on Aricept. Those with a tendency toward ulcers may see a development of the condition throughout their prescription. These conditions may also include gastrointestinal bleeding or weight loss. If your condition does not improve, talk to your doctor about adjusting your Aricept prescription.
Side Effects in Children, Seniors, and Pregnant Women
Aricept will not typically be prescribed to children. However, there is some evidence that Aricept will cause damage to unborn children. Pregnant women are encouraged to discuss their use of Aricept with a doctor before continuing their prescription. Those of childbearing age are not likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. If you are taking medication for this type of condition then you will need to seriously weigh the risks before eliminating your prescription.
Drugs like Aricept are intended for seniors, so there is no increased risk for this age group. However, there are some conditions that are more common in seniors that could increase the likelihood of side effects. It should also be noted that dementia and other Alzheimer's disease symptoms are more likely to return as the patient ages despite use of Aricept.
Interactions with Other Medications and Substances
There are several drug interactions that can be dangerous for patients on Aricept. The most common include Aspirin, Cymbalta, Lexapro, and Seroquel. Make sure your doctor is aware of any medications that you are taking regularly to avoid potential issues.
Adverse food or alcohol interactions with Aricept have not been reported. However, most doctors recommend that their patients avoid certain substances that are known to influence dementia when they are being treated with the disease. This will include any substances that include traces of aluminum, such as canned soda or some deodorants.