Generic Name: tacrine (TAK-reen)
Brand Name: Cognex
Tacrine is used for:
Treating mild to moderate dementia (eg, impairment of memory or judgement, abstract thinking, changes in personality) in patients with Alzheimer disease.
Tacrine is a cholinesterase inhibitor. It works by increasing the amount of a certain substance (acetylcholine) in the brain. This may help reduce symptoms of dementia in patients with Alzheimer disease.
Do NOT use tacrine if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in tacrine
- you have too much bilirubin in your blood
- you have symptoms of an allergic reactions (eg, rash fever) along with abnormal liver function tests
- you have previously taken tacrine and developed yellowing of the skin or eyes
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using tacrine:
Some medical conditions may interact with tacrine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of liver problems, abnormal liver function tests, certain heart problems (eg, slow or irregular heartbeat, sick sinus syndrome), low blood pressure, stomach or bowel problems (eg, ulcer, blockage), lung or breathing problems (eg, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]), urinary blockage, metabolism problems, or Parkinson disease
- if you have brain lesions or tumors, increased pressure in the brain, a history of seizures (eg, epilepsy), or you have had a recent head injury
- if you have dementia or other decreased mental ability that is not caused by Alzheimer disease
- if you are scheduled to have surgery or other medical procedures with general anesthesia
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with tacrine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) because the risk of stomach or bowel bleeding may be increased
- Cholinergic agents (eg, bethanechol), cholinesterase inhibitors (eg, donepezil), or fluvoxamine because they may increase the risk of tacrine's side effects
- Theophylline because the risk of its side effects may be increased by tacrine
- Anticholinergics (eg, scopolamine) because their effectiveness may be decreased by tacrine
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if tacrine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use tacrine:
Use tacrine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take tacrine by mouth between meals, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
- Take tacrine on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
- Taking tacrine at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- Continue to take tacrine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of tacrine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. Contact your doctor if you miss several doses of tacrine. Your doctor may need to restart your medicine at a lower dose to avoid side effects.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use tacrine.
Important safety information:
- Tacrine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or fainting. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use tacrine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- Do not decrease the dose of tacrine or suddenly stop taking it without checking with your doctor. Decreased mental function and behavior disturbances may occur.
- When you begin taking tacrine, your doctor will increase your dose slowly over several months. This may help to decrease the risk of certain side effects (eg, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Carefully follow the dosing schedule prescribed by your doctor.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take tacrine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including liver function, may be performed while you use tacrine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Tacrine should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using tacrine while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Tacrine is not approved for use in women who may be breast-feeding.
Possible side effects of tacrine:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; diarrhea; gas; loss of appetite; muscle aches or pain; nausea; stomach upset; stuffy nose; vomiting; weight loss.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or black, tarry stools; chest pain; dark urine; decreased coordination; decreased urination; fainting; fever; new or worsening mental or mood problems; pale stools; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe or persistent stomach pain; slow or irregular heartbeat; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; tremor; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include increased sweating or saliva production; muscle weakness; seizures; severe dizziness; severe nausea or vomiting; slow heartbeat; slow or shallow breathing.Proper storage of tacrine:
Store tacrine between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep tacrine out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about tacrine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Tacrine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take tacrine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about tacrine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to tacrine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using tacrine.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about tacrine
- Other brands: Cognex
- Tacrine Hydrochloride (AHFS Monograph)
- Tacrine Hydrochloride (Tetrahydroaminoacridine; THA) (Wolters Kluwer)