Aricept: side effects


Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
Barnet, Herts
Hello there: my father has been on Aricept (half dose) for 6 weeks now and as the time is going on i would say he is deteriorating. He seems more vague and having more problems with concepts than before and seems to fall asleep all the time. Do you think this may be a side effect of the Aricept as it builds in the system or do you think it is the Alzheimer's deteriorating. Thank you in advance for any help or advice.


Registered User
Apr 11, 2008
Hi Cassie
My husband has been given aricept at 5mg three weeks ago, and at the moment seems much more alert and confident.Has you father suddenly become poorly or was it immediately?I would phone the hospital and get advice as i was warned that side effects do occur.


Registered User
Jan 15, 2008
Hi Cazzie

It could be that the Aricept isn't having any affect on his Alzheimers, rather than him having side effects. Maybe it's just that it's taking a while to kick in, or perhaps he needs to have the full dose of 10mg which I think they prescribe once they see how they are with the 5mg.

My mother is on Aricept and it perked her up initially. I can't remember if it took a little while to work though as she started taking it in 2004. It is however not having as much affect on her now as she is starting to deteriorate.

You may want to speak to his Memory Management Nurse if he has one or the consultant who prescribed the Aricept.

I do hope it's just a case of it taking a while to work as it can make all the difference to some people.

Best of luck



Registered User
Jan 10, 2008
effects of Aricept

We were told when Mum started on Aricept that it might, in a few cases, cause headaches or nightmares. They also said that it would at the most slow the progress of the disease - it could not reverse it.

We had a hilarious moment when I took Mum to the hospital for the doctor to check how she was doing on the smaller dose. He asked her "You are on Aricept? Have you had any side effects?" Her reply was classic: "I wouldn't remember them if I had, would I!" Since on that occasion the doctor had forgotten to arrange for Mum's notes to be available and had no real idea what was going on I thought Mum won that round hands down!

Now that Mum is in the Residential Home she is in a different Health Authority area and the doctor here has been very good. He has explained what is going on much better than the previous one and has said that as long as he thinks the Aricept is helping he will continue to prescribe it. So far, so good.

I hope this helps.


Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire

Aricept helped my Dad.

It didn't make his memory better, but helped him interact socially. Before he was very withdrawn.

I believe aricept helped to hold back Dad's disease, unfortunately, Dad collasped with brachycardia and aricept was stopped. Within a few weeks we noticed a big deterioration in Dad's mental ability.

Could your Dad maybe, have an infection of some sort that is negating the effect of the Aricept? Maybe worth checking.


Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Hi Cazzie ..... as far as I am aware deterioration should not be a side effect - in fact quite the opposite ..... heart/stomach problems maybe. I recall mum having to go through some rigorous 'physical' checks before she was even allowed the 5mg prescription and had another medical check before her dose was increased. (Could just have been my mum wasn't in best of physical health anyway aside from the dementia?) Mum has had some remarkable improvement since being on the drug ..... with some symptoms/problems almost completely alleviated ..... (hallucinations/toileting problems) ......

I recall checking out the advice on when best to take Aricept .... there are different schools of thought on am/pm .... with food/on an empty stomach etc ...... I think you need to discuss with the GP and take a holistic view .. is there other medication or other factors counter-acting etc?

Sadly, the timing of getting the medication and a sudden decline could just be a sad coincidence......

Please let us know how things go, love, Karen, x


Registered User
Mar 23, 2008
coast of texas
A few years back mom was on aricept and it helped keep her steady. About 6 months later the dr. put her on namendia also and we really saw improvement, however that was shortlived as about the 3rd month in she started having ****** stools and since her mother had colon cancer her dr. agreed to a colonascopy. To make a long story short she had ulcerative colitis. At this point mom was already giving me a time with her meds. (9 pills a day that were just medicine) I thought I had seen it all with my kids not taking meds. Anyways the course to treat the colitis was 4 more pills.

Anyways we ended up going off all meds. I spent a few hours researching food and we fixed that by diet. After a little more research by her dr and I we discovered that one side effect was the ulcerative coliitis from the use of the namendia and aricept together.

Her dr. and I discussed this and she has stayed off, in the long run I really feel that she may have benefitted hugely had her body allowed her to useboth drugs.

I wouldn't hesitate to try a drug again with those earlier stages.....I just know now that I keep on top of the physical side effects.

I hope the aricept helps your AD patient.


Registered User
May 6, 2009
Isle of Wight
Aricept possible side effects


I am with you.

My Mother (86) has just started taking Aricept (I don't know what the dose is).

She has gone from being a person I could have a good conversation with to a person who does not seem to be able to organise her memories in her mind, all in the space of two weeks.

Before she suffered some disorientation which caused her some anxiety. I have got used to telling her where she is at least twice a day, but it doesn't worry me because we have great conversations about her life and other things.

Now although the anxiety has gone, it has been replaced by a confusion. It is as if all of her memories have been thrown up in the air, and have come down in the wrong order.

I wonder if your relative is reacting in the same way?

Tim H
Last edited:


Registered User
Mar 29, 2009

hi im sorry to hear about your mum.My mum as alzhimers and the family have just spoke to the doctor about the same thing( aricept)my mum as been taking this drug for 6 months and to say it is ment to slow down the dissese im my opinion its speading things up,so he as now taken her of it.Im sure this works for some people,however not for my mum.goodluck shelley.take carexx

beech mount

Registered User
Sep 1, 2008
RE Aricept,
All the posible side efects are listed in the leaflet with the
medication, what you describe is not listed, sadly it would appear
that this is a detereation or an infection.


Registered User
Mar 17, 2005

Hi Cazzie all medications have side effects I have been taking Donepezil Hydrochloride tablets “Aricept” for just over nine years I take it every night and haven’t had any problems at all


Registered User
Nov 6, 2008
marlow bucks uk
hi my mum unfortunately could not take aricept on both occasions she was violently sick for the whole time she was on them. stopped and then started a few weeks later with the same thing happening and she now refuses to take any other meds which will help the AD. we are lucky i suppose in some ways that mum is still able to make the choices, had it been left to us we would want her to try everything. mum had weird nightmares too and was very withdrawn, shes actually much better now shes stopped them.
she said to me "whats the point of taking something that makes me mentally well if physical i feel like ******"


Registered User
May 7, 2009
laurentides Quebec Canada
Hi Cazzy, My husband had the same symptoms at the start because this was all new especially if your Dad was not a pill taker. Aricept has a tranquilizer among other drugs. What I did for Hubby I kept him busy even tho'he would get cross with me I would try to keep him awake. Now he has his walk every day and has become more alert. Aricept takes a few months to start working. Hope this helps, Donalda

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
My mum had Aricept. I am not aware that it caused her any problems, nor even if it did any good. She didn't deteriorate fast, perhaps she would have done without it. She died of non-related causes so I will never know what Aricept did for her.



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