Medication Information Leaflet
Donepezil belongs to a class of medications known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It is used to reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate and severe Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, such as:
• Difficulty in remembering recent events, activities, or the names of familiar people or things
• Poor concentration and judgement
It will not cure or stop the dementia from getting worse, but it may improve the ability to think in some patients and slow down the worsening of these symptoms.
Check with your healthcare professional if you are unsure why you are given this medication.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then take the next dose at your usual timing. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.
If you forget to take Donepezil for more than 1 week, speak to your doctor before restarting it. You may need to restart it at a lower dose.
Inform your healthcare professional if:
You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
You are taking any other medications including over-the-counter medications, supplements, traditional Chinese medicine and herbal remedies. Some of these may affect how this medication works or cause serious drug interactions.
You have or have ever had:
Other drug allergies
Medical conditions such as:
Heart or liver disease, slow or irregular heartbeat
Seizures (fits), asthma, breathing problems, stomach or intestinal ulcers, or difficulty passing urine
The mentioned side effects generally affect up to 10% of patients.
Feeling tired or drowsy
Discuss with your doctor if you can take this medication at a different time of the day
Avoid driving or engaging in activities requiring concentration
Nausea or vomiting
Take the medication with or after food
Take small but frequent meals and avoid fatty or spicy food
Light-headedness (especially during a sudden change in posture)
Get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position to avoid falling over
Avoid daytime naps; listen to relaxing music at bedtime
Avoid overeating or drinking before bedtime
Limit caffeine intake to at least 8 hours before bedtime
Loss of appetite or weight loss
Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak to your doctor if they are bothersome, get worse or are affecting your daily life.
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
Difficulty in breathing
Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
Rarely this medication may cause:
Difficulty or pain in passing urine
Slow or irregular heartbeat
Seeing or hearing things that are not present (hallucinations)
Anxiety or low mood
Severe stomach pain and vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds; bloody or black tarry stools (signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding)
Unexplained high fever, excessive sweating, confusion, severe muscle stiffness (signs and symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome)
Dark-coloured urine with unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (signs and symptoms of rhabdomyolysis)
If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop your medication and inform your healthcare professional immediately.
Please also take note that not all possible side effects are listed above. If you have any concerns about your medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication as it may cause too much drowsiness.
Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.
Pack this medication into a trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing it into the rubbish chute or bin.
If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.
This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.
Last updated on Oct 2021
This article was last reviewed on
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
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