The patent for Aricept has expired, and generic versions are now available. The FDA has given these generic versions an "AB" rating, which means they are considered equivalent to brand-name Aricept. However, generic versions are allowed to contain different inactive ingredients, which could cause problems for people with certain sensitivities.
Aricept® (donepezil hydrochloride) is a prescription medication that is used to treat the symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer's disease. It is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but it can help improve memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple tasks.
Brand-name Aricept is manufactured by Eisai, Inc. However, the patent for Aricept expired in November 2010, and the medication is now available in generic form as well.
Generic Aricept is available in the following forms and strengths:
- Donepezil 5 mg tablets
- Donepezil 10 mg tablets
- Donepezil 5 mg orally disintegrating tablets
- Donepezil 10 mg orally disintegrating tablets.
Aricept 23 mg tablets are not available in generic form at this time.
Generic Aricept is made by a number of different manufacturers, such as:
- Greenstone, LLC
- Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA
- UDL Laboratories.
All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then looks at these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns a rating to each one.
An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. All of the generic donepezil versions currently available have an "AB" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Aricept.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers, dyes, or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.