Drugs Home > What Is Donepezil Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is donepezil used for?" Donepezil is used for the treatment of symptoms caused by Alzheimer's dementia. While the medicine does not cure or slow the progression of the disease, it can be used to help improve memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple daily tasks. Donepezil is also sometimes used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, behavioral symptoms with other types of dementia, and memory problems following traumatic brain injury.

What Is Donepezil Used For? -- An Overview

Donepezil (Aricept®) is a medication that has been licensed to treat the symptoms of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease. It belongs to a group of medications known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and is approved to treat mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer’s dementia.
Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that affects a person's thought process, memory, and language, with no known cause or cure. People with Alzheimer's generally show signs of memory loss, confusion, and the inability to perform simple daily tasks. The disease usually starts with mild memory problems and eventually leads to severe brain damage.
Donepezil has been licensed for the treatment of mild, moderate, or even severe Alzheimer's disease. Donepezil is not a cure for Alzheimer's, nor does it slow down the progression of disease. It can, however, help improve memory, attention, reason, language, and the ability to perform simple daily tasks.

How Does Donepezil Work?

Donepezil is part of a class of drugs known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It works by stopping a specific enzyme (known as acetylcholinesterase) from breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a chemical that aids in many brain functions, including memory, attention, reason, and language.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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