Donepezil Showing Efficacy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewy body Dementia

AlzheimersDonepezil, CAS number 120014-06-4, is also marketed under the brand name Aricept, and is used in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with dementia have low levels of the brain chemical acetylcholine, which is a crucial chemical for thinking and memory issues. Donepezil improves the patient’s nerve cell functioning by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine. Aricept, which is marketed by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc. is offered in dosages of 5, 10 and 23 milligram doses. Donepezil is available through LGM Pharma for Research and Development purposes, along with client assistance and support through all stages of research.

Taken once daily by mouth, usually at bedtime, donepezil is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, but it is a medication that will help control the symptoms of this devastating disease. Lower doses are typically prescribed to patients initially, and an increase in dose is often given after four to six weeks if needed. Adverse effects of donepezil include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle cramps, exhaustion, headache and dizziness. The effects of certain anesthetics. may be increased for patients taking donepezil, so it is prudent for patients to inform their doctor before any surgical procedures where anesthetic is necessary.

donepezil hclA report shared from HealthDay News on February 14, 2012 indicated that donepezil is showing efficacy in patients with Lewy body dementias, also known as LBD. This form of dementia is second only to Alzheimer’s, and is often mistaken as such. Research regarding LBD is urgently needed, as there is currently no primary drug choice for treatment of this emerging form of dementia. The aformentioned study, documented in HealthDay News, was completed by Etsuro Mori, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Sendai, Japan. Patients with diagnosed Lewy body dementia were randomly given 3, 5, or 10 milligrams of donepezil hydrochloride once daily for 12 weeks, or a placebo. Out of the 140 patients studied, researchers found the 5 and 10 milligram doses of donepezil were significantly superior to the placebo when patients were evaluated neurologically, behaviorally and psychiatrically. The 10 milligram dose was noted by patient caregivers as reducing daily care burdens most effectively. This research indicates the potential efficacy for donepezil when used to not only treat Alzheimer’s disease, but also Lewy body dementia.

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One Response to “Donepezil Showing Efficacy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Lewy body Dementia”

  1. [...] which involved 295 Alzheimer’s patients in Britain who were given memantine and donepezil (click to read a 3/7/12 blog post on donepezil). These patients were placed in one of four separate groups: patients continuing to take donepezil; [...]

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