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Aricept is an enzyme blocker that is used to treat confusion in the patients of Alzheimer’s disease. Although the medicine doesn’t help in the progression of the disease, it somehow lowers down the forgetfulness and confusion caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

It functions to block the neurotransmitter production in the brain causing the patient to feel a bit less disoriented.

There are three variants of the tablets, with potency of 5mg, 10 mg and 23 mg.

The medicine can be prescribed in combination with other medications to cure the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dosage:

Aricept comes in tablet form that should not be crushed before swallowing. Crushing a tablet can cause side effects.

The usual dosage is one 5 mg tablet per day, usually in the evening. However, if there is an indication of sleeplessness in the patient, the medicine can be altered for day time dose.

The maximum dosage per day for patients with severe symptoms is 23 mg per day.

The dose should not be altered directly to 23 mg per day until and unless the previous 10 mg dose is continued at least for three months.

The medicine can be taken with or without food as per the doctor’s instructions.

Side effects:

The common side effects of Aricept include diarrhea, cramps, dizziness, vomiting and insomnia.

Other uncommon side effects may include loss of appetite, low energy, and frequent urination, bruising under the skin and weight loss.

The rare side effects include atrial fibrillation which is a condition related to heart beat.

This condition can lead to stroke and thrombosis. This may further complicate to cause stomach bleeding.

Other rare side effects include aggressive behavior, irritability, itching, mood changes, chest pain, development of cataracts in the eyes, fluid retention in the body and even seizures.

Precautions:

The doses should never be adjusted on self-indications. Stick to the doctor’s advice in case of a change in the condition.

If you’re undergoing medical treatment and using an Aricept, it is important to inform the doctor about Aricept usage. Many dental medicines can cause adverse reactions when used with an Aricept.

The medicine affects the brain function, so make sure if you’re taking it, you avoid lifting heavy objects or avoid driving while you have taken a dose. 

In case of black tarry stool or unusually painful bowel movements that look as if there is coffee like masses in the stool, immediately call your doctor. It is an indicator of stomach bleeds that need immediate medical attention.

The overdose of this medicine can lead to excessive sweating, low blood pressure, and in the worst cases it can cause convulsions or seizures. These symptoms should never be neglected because these are not included in the common side effects of the medicine.

Do not self-medicate with any type of herbal or vitamin supplement if you’re taking Aricept because it can have adverse interactions with many other medicines. Aricept should not be withdrawn without toning down the doses because it can have negative effects.