DONEPEZIL — Side Effects and Special Considerations

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    Donepezil oral tablet doesn’t cause drowsiness. However, it may cause other side effects such as, but is not limited to:

    1. nausea
    2. diarrhea
    3. unable to sleep well
    5. muscle cramps
    6. tiredness
    7. not wanting to eat or having a poor appetite
    8. bruising
    9. weight loss

    Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, consult with your doctor.

    1. Slow heart rate and fainting

    2. Stomach ulcers and bleeding characterized by:
    a. heartburn
    b. stomach pain that won’t go away
    c. nausea or vomiting
    d. blood in your vomit
    e. dark-colored vomit that looks like coffee grounds
    f. bowel movements that look like black tar

    3. Worsening of lung problems in people with asthma or other lung diseases as characterized by:
    a. Seizures
    b. Trouble urinating

    1. This drug may cause side effects when taken with certain anesthesia drugs (such as succinylcholine). Inform your doctor or dentist that you’re taking this drug before you have any medical or dental surgeries or procedures.

    2. It also reacts with other drugs such as:
    a. Antifungal medications
    b. Antihistamines
    c. Antiseizure medications
    d. Depression medications
    e. Heart medications
    f. Overactive bladder medications
    g. Steroids
    h. Stomach medications
    i. Tuberculosis medications
    j. Urinary retention medications

    3. Donepezil may cause a slow heart rate and fainting. Call your doctor right away if this happens. Those with heart problem has an increase risk for this issue.

    4. This drug can increase your stomach acid, which raises your risk of stomach bleeding or ulcers. The risk is higher for people with a history of ulcers, and people on aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

    5. Warning is given for people with health conditions such as:
    a. heart problem
    b. stomach ulcers or bleeding
    c. lung problem
    d. bladder problems
    e. seizures or epilepsy
    f. liver problems

    6. This medication should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.


    Can donepezil be taken at any time of the day?


    Hi, donepezil should be taken at night before bed unless otherwise directed by your physician. This is because this medication could cause irregular or slow heartbeat for some patients. This side effects could lead to fainting and by taking this at bedtime, patients are able to just sleep through the effects.


    Oh, okay. I was planning to give the medication to my mother every morning so I could easily remember. But then, if that is the case, I guess I’ll stick with giving it to her at bedtime. Thanks.


    I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and am more prone to experience abdominal side effects from medicines. If my donepezil is causing me side effects, can I cut my 10mg tab into half?


    If the tab that you are taking is not an extended-release tab, not coated, and if the tablet is scored, then yes, you make cut it in half. Otherwise, unscored tablets cannot be cut in half. If you are having problems with the side effects of the medication, it would be best to consult with your doctor so he could do any necessary adjustments.

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