Medication Guide App

Donepezil Side Effects

Not all side effects for donepezil may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to donepezil: oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating

Along with its needed effects, donepezil may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking donepezil:

More common
  • Diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • trouble in sleeping
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
Less common
  • Abnormal dreams
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • fainting
  • frequent urination
  • headache
  • joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • mental depression
  • pain
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • weight loss
Rare
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bloating
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • blurred vision
  • burning, prickling, or tingling sensations
  • cataract
  • chills
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness
  • confusion
  • cough
  • decreased urination
  • difficult or painful urination
  • dryness of mouth
  • eye irritation
  • fever
  • flushing of skin
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • high or low blood pressure
  • hives
  • hot flashes
  • increase in sexual desire or performance
  • increased heart rate and breathing
  • increased sweating
  • increased urge to urinate during the night
  • irregular heartbeat
  • itching
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of bowel control
  • mood or mental changes, including abnormal crying, aggression, agitation, delusions, irritability, nervousness, or restlessness
  • nasal congestion
  • pain in chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • problems with speech
  • runny nose
  • severe thirst
  • shortness of breath
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • sunken eyes
  • tightness in chest
  • tremor
  • troubled breathing
  • wheezing
  • wrinkled skin
Incidence not known
  • Back, leg, or stomach pains
  • bleeding gums
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • coma
  • convulsions
  • dark urine
  • difficulty breathing
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • fatigue
  • general body swelling
  • general tiredness and weakness
  • high fever
  • increased thirst
  • indigestion
  • light-colored stools
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • nausea and vomiting
  • nosebleeds
  • pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • pale skin
  • rash
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • seizures
  • severe muscle stiffness
  • severe nausea
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • stomach pain
  • sweating
  • swelling of face, ankles, or hands
  • tiredness
  • unusually pale skin
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • yellow eyes and skin
Symptoms of overdose
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • increased sweating
  • increased watering of mouth
  • increasing muscle weakness
  • low blood pressure
  • severe nausea
  • severe vomiting
  • slow heartbeat
  • troubled breathing

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to donepezil: oral tablet, oral tablet disintegrating

General

The most common adverse events were diarrhea, muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, anorexia and insomnia. Most adverse events are mild in severity and transient in nature.

Frequency of common adverse effects may be influenced by the rate of titration.

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea, nausea
Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting, abdominal disturbance, tooth ache, fecal incontinence, gastrointestinal bleeding, bloating, epigastric pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Gastrointestinal hemorrhage, gastric and duodenal ulcers, eructation, gingivitis, flatulence, periodontal abscess, cholelithiasis, drooling, dry mouth, fever sore, gastritis, irritable colon, tongue edema, epigastric distress, gastroenteritis, increased transaminases, hemorrhoids, ileus, increased thirst, jaundice, melena, polydipsia, duodenal ulcer, stomach ulcer, hernia hiatal

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, insomnia, somnolence, tremor, paresthesia, ataxia, nervousness, aphasia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Seizure, bad taste, cerebrovascular accident, intracranial hemorrhage, transient ischemic attack, neuralgia, muscle spasm, dysphoria, gait abnormality, hypertonia, hypokinesia, neurodermatitis, numbness (localized), dysarthria, dysphasia, nystagmus, pacing
Rare (less than 0.1%): Extrapyramidal symptoms
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension, hemorrhage, syncope, vasodilation, atrial fibrillation, hot flashes, hypotension
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bradycardia, angina pectoris, postural hypotension, myocardial infarction, AV block (first degree), congestive heart failure, arteritis, peripheral vascular disease, supraventricular tachycardia, deep vein thrombosis.
Rare (less than 0.1%): SA block, AV block

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Eczema rash, pruritus, ecchymosis, diaphoresis, urticaria
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dermatitis, erythema, skin discoloration, hyperkeratosis, alopecia, fungal dermatitis, hirsutism, skin striae, night sweats, skin ulcer

Genitourinary

Common (1% to 10%): Urinary incontinence, nocturia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysuria, hematuria, urinary urgency, metrorrhagia, cystitis, enuresis, prostate hypertrophy, pyelonephritis, inability to empty bladder, breast fibroadenosis, fibrocystic breast, mastitis, pyuria, renal failure, vaginitis

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia, decreased weight, dehydration
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased appetite, gout, hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, increased lactate dehydrogenase

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Muscle cramps, arthritis, bone fracture
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Muscle weakness, muscle fasciculation

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Cataract, eye irritation, vision blurred
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dry eyes, glaucoma, blepharitis, retinal hemorrhage, conjunctival hemorrhage, spots before eyes, periorbital edema

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, pain, accidental overdose, vertigo, abnormal crying
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Minor increase in serum concentration of muscle creatine kinase, diverticulitis, earache, tinnitus, decreased hearing, otitis externa, otitis media, ear buzzing, motion sickness, herpes zoster, coldness (localized), fever, edema face, abscess, cellulitis, chills, generalized coldness, head fullness

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Hallucinations, agitation, aggressive behavior, abnormal dreams, nightmares, delusions, irritability, aggression, increased libido, restlessness
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Emotional lability, paranoia, hostility, decreased libido, melancholia, emotional withdrawal, listlessness

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Common cold, influenza, chest pain, dyspnea, sore throat, bronchitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Epistaxis, post nasal drip, pneumonia, hyperventilation, pulmonary congestion, wheezing, hypoxia, pharyngitis, pleurisy, pulmonary collapse, sleep apnea, snoring

Endocrine

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diabetes mellitus, goiter

Hematologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anemia, thrombocythemia, thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia, erythrocytopenia

Hepatic

Rare (less than 0.1%): Liver dysfunction (including hepatitis)

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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