Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Donepezil


Last updated on 22/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Donepezil 


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Alzedon, Aricept, Aricept Evess 安理申, Donecept, Vastia

DRUG CLASS: Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (central) 

USED FOR: Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease or other dementia

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Galantamine, Physostigmine, Rivastigmine

– 5mg, 10mg (tablets)
– 5mg, 10mg (orodispersible tablets)

What is Donepezil for?

Donepezil belongs to a class of medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. It increases the amount of acetylcholine in your brain and is used for the treatment of dementia. Donepezil is commonly used to help relieve symptoms in people with mild to severe Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia (e.g., Parkinson’s disease dementia).

How to use it?

Donepezil is available in conventional tablets or orally disintegrating tablets (Aricept Evess). Orally disintegrating tablets are used as an alternative for people who have trouble swallowing the regular tablets. After removing the orally disintegrating tablet from its package, it should be placed on the tongue. Then drink some water to help swallow the dissolved medication.

The initial dose of Donepezil is 5 mg once daily at bedtime. After at least a month, your doctor may increase the dose according to your response up to 10 mg once daily at bedtime.

What are the side effects of Donepezil?

Donepezil can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, weight loss, low blood pressure and fainting, insomnia and vivid dreams. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, however, usually resolve with a continued use or a lower dosage. If you experience sleep disturbances, changing the dosing time to morning can be helpful.

Who should not take Donepezil?

People allergic to Donepezil, piperidine derivatives, or any formulation component. 

Pharmacist Tips:

– People with a low body weight (<55 kg) may be more likely to develop nausea, vomiting and weight loss after taking Donepezil.
– Avoid alcohol while you are taking Donepezil.

Common dosing schedule:
Donepezil can be taken with or without food at bedtime.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Donepezil may interact with:
– Beta blockers, e.g. Atenolol, Nebivolol
– Corticosteroids, e.g. Dexamethasone, Prednisolone
– Antiepileptics, e.g. Carbamazepine, Phenytoin

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Donepezil in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Donepezil is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Donepezil in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.