Donepezil, marketed under the trade name Aricept by its developer Eisai and partnerPfizer, is a centrally acting reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Its main therapeutic use is in the palliative treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset. It has an oral bioavailability of 100% and easily crosses the blood–brain barrier. Because it has a biological half-life of about 70 hours, it can be taken once a day.
Currently, no definitive proof shows the use of donepezil or other similar agents alters the course or progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, 6 to 12-month controlled studies have shown modest benefits in cognition and/or behavior.Pilot studies have reported donepezil therapy may potentially have effects on markers of disease progression, such as hippocampal volume. Therefore, many neurologists, psychiatrists, and primary-care physicians use donepezil in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2005, the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence
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