For people who are treating Alzheimer's disease with Aricept, dosage recommendations start at 5 mg once a day. After several weeks of treatment, your healthcare provider may choose to increase your dose. Your daily dose should be taken at bedtime, with or without food.
The dose of Aricept® (donepezil hydrochloride) that your healthcare provider recommends will vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- How you respond to Aricept
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be currently taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your Aricept dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
The recommended starting dose for people with Alzheimer's disease is Aricept 5 mg once a day, taken at bedtime. Your healthcare provider may choose to increase your dose to 10 mg once daily after you have been taking the 5-mg dose for at least four to six weeks. This helps to decrease the risk of experiencing a side effect. If necessary, your dosage may be further increased to Aricept 23 mg once daily, but only after you have been taking the 10-mg dose for at least three months.
Your healthcare provider may decide to decrease your dose or have you stop taking Aricept if a side effect occurs or if he or she feels you are no longer benefiting from the medication.
Some general considerations for people taking Aricept include:
- Aricept comes in the form of an oral tablet or an orally disintegrating tablet. Make sure you follow the directions for the specific form of Aricept that you were prescribed.
- Aricept should be taken once a day at bedtime, with or without food.
- If you are taking the regular tablet form of Aricept, it is recommended that you take it with a drink of water or other fluid. Do not chew, crush, split or dissolve the tablets.
- If you are taking the orally disintegrating tablet form of Aricept, you should place the tablet on your tongue, allow it to dissolve, and then swallow. It is recommended that you drink a glass of water after the tablet has dissolved.
- Aricept should be taken at the same time every day to help maintain an even level of medicine in the blood. Do not take it more often than directed.
- If you forget to take a dose of Aricept, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your normal dosing schedule. Never double your dose of Aricept at one time.
- For Aricept to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Aricept will not work if you stop taking it.
- If you are unsure about anything related to Aricept or your Aricept dosage, please talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking Aricept without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.