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Dr. Vijayakumar D.R MBBS, DPM, DNB (NIMHANS), CCST (UK)
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Cognition Enhancers


The name of your medication is- Donepezil hydrochloride


Cognition enhancers primarily used in the symptomatic treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer, dementia. 

How quickly will the drug start working?

Improvement in concentration and attention is noted is noted over a period of several weeks. Because these drugs take time to work do not decrease or increase the dose without discussing this with the doctor.

How does the doctor decide on the dosage?

The drug is started at a low dose to minimize the chance of side effects. The dose can be increased after several weeks if minimal improvement is seen. The dose of the drug tacarine is determined by the results of tests of liver function, which the physician performs on a regular basis.

How long should you take this medication?

Cognition enhancers are usually prescribed for a period several years.

Side effects

Side effects occur, to some degree, with all medication. They are usually not serious and do not occur in all individuals. They may sometimes occur before beneficial effects of the medication are noticed. If a side effect continues, speak to your doctor about appropriate treatment. 

Common side effects that should be reported to your at the next appointment include:


  • Energizing/ agitated feeling, excitability-Some individuals may feel nervous or have difficulty sleeping for a few days after starting this medication. If you are taking the medication in the evening, the physician may decided to prescribe it earlier in the day.
  • Headache-This tends to be temporary and can be managed by taking analgesics (aspirin, acetaminophen, paracetamol ) when required.
  • Nausea, vomiting, heartburn-If this happens, take the medication with food or milk.
  • Diarrhea or constipation, flatulence.
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss- Taking the medication after meals, eating smaller meals more frequently or drinking high calorie drinks may help.
  • Muscle aches or cramps-Can be managed by taking analgesics when required.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Hot flushes.


Rare side effects you should report to your doctor IMMEDIATELY include:


  • Yellow tinge in the eyes or to the skin; dark-colored urine
  • Soreness of the mouth, gums, or throat
  • Skin rash or itching, swelling of the face
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, fever, or flu-like symptoms
  • Severe agitation or restless


What should you do if you forget to take a dose of your medication?

If you take your total dose of the drug in the morning and you forget to take it for more than 6 hours, skip the missed dose and continue with your schedule the next day. DO NOT DOUBLE THE DOSE. If you take the drug several times a day, take the missed dose when you remember, then continue with your regular schedule.

Interactions with other medication

Because these drugs can change the effect of other medication, or may be affected by other medication, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking other drugs, including over-the-counter medication such as cold remedies. Always inform any doctor or dentist that you see that you are taking a cognition enhancer.


  1. Do not increase or decrease your dose without consulting your doctor
  2. Report to your doctor any changes in sleeping or eating habits or changes in mood or behavior.
  3. Do not stop your drug suddenly as this may result in changes in behavior and/or concentration.
  4. This drug may interact with medication prescribed by your dentist, so let him/her know the name of the drug you are taking.
  5. Store your medication in a clean, dry area at room temperature. Keep all medication out of the reach of children.

If you have any questions regarding this medication, do not hesitate to contact your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse