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Generic Aricept Approved for Alzheimer's Dementia

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 --Generic versions of the drug Aricept (donepezil hydrochloride) that will dissolve instantly on the tongue have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat dementia resulting from Alzheimer's disease, the agency said Tuesday.

While other versions of the drug's active ingredient are available, the newly approved tablets disintegrate rapidly, making it easier for elderly or disabled people to take them, the FDA said in a news release.

Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking, and, eventually, a person's ability to perform simple tasks. It's the most common cause of dementia among older people, although it is "not a normal part of aging," the FDA release said.

The generic versions of Aricept, to be available in 5 milligram and 10 milligram strengths, are to be produced by Philadelphia-based Mutual Pharmaceuticals.

More information

To learn more about this approval, visit the FDA.

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Posted: December 2009