Side effects of ARICEPT

Please contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects of ARICEPT.

What are the possible side effects of ARICEPT?

ARICEPT may cause the following serious side effects:

  • Slow heartbeat and fainting. This happens more often in people with heart problems. Call the doctor right away if your loved one faints while taking ARICEPT
  • More stomach acid. This raises the chance of ulcers and bleeding, especially when taking ARICEPT 23 mg. The risk is higher for patients who had ulcers, or take aspirin or other NSAIDs
  • Worsening of lung problems in people with asthma or other lung disease
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty passing urine

Call the doctor right away if your loved one has:

  • Fainting
  • Heartburn or stomach pain that is new or won't go away
  • Nausea or vomiting, blood in the vomit, dark vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Bowel movements or stools that look like black tar
  • New or worse asthma or breathing problems
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty passing urine

The most common side effects of ARICEPT are:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Not sleeping well
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling tired
  • Not wanting to eat

These side effects may get better after your loved one takes ARICEPT for a while. This is not a complete list of side effects with ARICEPT. For more information, click on Full Prescribing and Patient Information link below, and ask the doctor or pharmacist

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of
prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit
or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


ARICEPT® (donepezil HCl) is a prescription medicine to treat mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer's disease.


Before starting on ARICEPT 23 mg/day, patients should be on ARICEPT 10 mg/day for at least 3 months. The starting dose of ARICEPT is 5 mg/day and can be increased to 10 mg/day after 4‑6 weeks. Please take ARICEPT as prescribed by the doctor.


  • ARICEPT (donepezil HCl) is not for everyone, including people who are allergic to any ingredients in ARICEPT or to medicines that contain piperidines.

  • Tell the doctor that the patient takes ARICEPT before they have any procedure that may require anesthesia, including dental and medical procedures or surgery.

  • ARICEPT may cause slow heartbeat and fainting. This happens more often in people with heart problems. Call the doctor right away if the patient faints while taking ARICEPT. People may also have seizures while taking ARICEPT. They may also have difficulty passing urine. Lung problems, including asthma, may worsen with the use of ARICEPT.

  • In a study, more side effects were seen with ARICEPT 23 mg than with ARICEPT 10 mg. Many more people taking ARICEPT 23 mg experienced nausea and vomiting than those taking ARICEPT 10 mg. These side effects may get better after the patient takes ARICEPT for a while.

  • People at risk for stomach ulcers or who take certain other medicines, such as aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), should tell their doctor because serious stomach problems, such as bleeding, may get worse.

  • Other side effects that were seen more often with ARICEPT 23 mg were stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, and weight loss. People of lower weight (less than 121 lbs) may have increased nausea, vomiting, and weight loss when taking ARICEPT 23 mg.

  • Other side effects of ARICEPT may include diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, vomiting, or muscle cramps. Some people may feel tired or may have loss of appetite.

  • Tell the doctor if your loved one takes nonprescription or prescription medicines, including those used to treat Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease; anticholinergic medicines, such as allergy or cold medicine; medicines to treat bladder or bowel spasms; or certain asthma medicines.