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Arizex (donepezil) is an AChEI, or acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, used to help patients who have Alzheimer's slow progression of the disease while improving cognitive function. This medication provides benefit at all stages of the disease, from mild to severe. Patients with other major medical disorders may require modified dosing.
Arizex works by preserving the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, often found in low levels in individuals who have Alzheimer's or other types of dementia.
In moderate to severe Alzheimer's, Arizex is often used along with another medication called Namenda. Namenda helps preserves brain cells themselves, while Arizex preserves the neurotransmitter that communicates between them.
What Arizex Does
Alzheimer's is a devastating disease for the patient and their loved ones. As the sense of self is gradually lost, patients also lose independence, the ability to interact meaningfully, and increase dependency on caretakers.
Arizex is not a cure for Alzheimer's, but it can buy patients some time. The progression of Alzheimer's is slowed and cognitive function is notably improved. Arizex patients can expect improvement in:
Benefits of the above are self-evident. Patients are often able to retain independence and communicate meaningfully with friends and loved ones. Perhaps most important patients retain their sense of self.
Arizex often adds years of quality time, but it is not a cure. Eventually there will come a time when it no longer provides significant benefit.
Arizex comes in tablets, typically taken once per day before bed. Food is optional; those who experience nausea or other stomach issues after taking a dose may benefit from food.
Dosage is largely dependent on the severity of the condition, though other personal variables, such as other medications being taken, age, weight, and so forth, may also influence dosage.
In otherwise healthy patients:
It may take several weeks of treatment for full benefits to be seen, which is why there is such a wait between dosage increases. Gradually increasing dosage also allows the body to adjust to treatment, reducing the risk and severity of side effects.
Patients or caretakers are advised to give the medication at least 6 weeks before making a judgement, assuming no serious side effects develop.
Warnings & Adverse Effects
If other major medical conditions are present, patients or caretakers should discuss risks with a doctor before starting treatment. Arizex may or may not be suitable, depending on the other condition, or dosage may need to be modified. Other conditions of concern include:
Otherwise, Arizex is typically safe if used as directed. Most side effects are mild and transient, including:
The above side effects are not cause for concern unless severe enough to be disruptive. In most cases they'll stop occurring in the first few weeks of treatment as the body adjusts.
Arizex is known to interact with some other medications, including many widely-available over-the-counter treatments like NSAIDs and cough syrups. Check with a doctor before taking other medications with Arizex.