Aricept Side Effects

by on January 5, 2012


The most common Aricept side effects are minor and may include loss of appetite, diarrhea, trouble sleeping and weight loss. These can be simply handled by both you and your physician. The possibility of side effects can be reduced by gradually increasing its dosage over a period of several weeks.

Common Aricept Side Effects

All drugs could potentially cause side effects, but some individuals have no, or minimal, adverse reactions. Seek advice from a medical expert if some of these side effects continue or become more frequent or disturbing when you use Donepezil:

  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Serious Aricept Side Effects


Try to get medical assistance immediately if a few of these serious side effects happen when using Aricept (Donepezil):

  • Severe hypersensitive reactions (hives, rash, itching)
  • Black or bloody and tarry stools
  • Swelling of the mouth, lips or tongue, and face
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • fainting
  • Decreased, difficult, or painful urination
  • Flu-like symptoms (e.g. headache, tiredness, muscle aches)
  • Fever
  • Mood or mental problems (e.g. depression)
  • Seizures
  • New or worsening difficulty in breathing
  • Severe or prolonged heartburn (pyrosis)
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe dizziness or headache
  • Tremor
  • Unusual bruising
  • Vomit that appears like coffee grounds or blood
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

Aricept Side Effects on Different Areas of the Body


It had been reported that urinary incontinence (involuntary leakage of urine) is included as side effects of Donepezil. Excessive urination at night (nocturia) has been noted frequently. Other side effects that have been noted rarely are dysuria, hematuria, metrorrhagia, urinary urgency, cystitis, hypertrophy, enuresis, prostate, inability to empty bladder, pyelonephritis, fibrocystic breast, breast fibroadenosis, pyuria, mastitis, renal failure, and vaginitis.


Musculoskeletal side effects of Aricept including back pain (3%) and muscle cramps (6%) have been established. Bone fracture has been noted frequently. Muscle fasciculation and muscle weakness have been noted very rarely.


Aricept side effects on the gastrointestinal system reported in not less than 5% of patients include anorexia, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. Gastrointestinal bleeding, epigastric pain, bloating, and fecal incontinence have been experienced often.

Other side effects that have been reported rarely include eructation, increased appetite, gingivitis, flatulence, cholelithiasis,  periodontal abscess, diverticulitis, dry mouth, drooling, fever sore, irritable colon, gastritis, tongue edema, gastroenteritis, epigastric distress, increased transaminases, ileus, hemorrhoids, increased thirst, melena, jaundice, polydipsia, stomach ulcer, and duodenal ulcer.


Eczema is one of the dermatologic Aricept side effects that have been noted among 5% of the patients. Diaphoresis, pruritus, and urticaria have been experienced frequently.

Other side effects that have been reported often are dermatitis, erythema, skin discoloration, herpes zoster, hyperkeratosis, alopecia, fungal dermatitis, skin striae, night sweats, hirsutism, and skin ulcer. Purpuric rash cases have been noted.


Cardiovascular side effects which includes hypertension (around 3%), syncope (2%) and hemorrhage (around 2%) have been reported.  No more than 1% of patients have claimed to have bradycardia and hypotension. Atrial fibrillation, vasodilation, and hot flashes have been reported frequently.

Other side effects that have been rarely reported includes angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, postural hypotension, AV block (first degree), arteritis, congestive heart failure, bradycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, peripheral vascular disease, and deep vein thrombosis.


Metabolic side effects of Aricept have included hyperlipemia (2%), dehydration (2%), and weight loss when dosage is increased. Other side effects that have been reported infrequently include gout, increased weight, increased creatine kinase hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, and enhanced lactate dehydrogenase.