Skip to main content


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 13, 2023.

Index Terms

  • Axona

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Axona

Pharmacologic Category

  • Medical Food


Induces hyperketonemia to provide an alternative energy substrate to glucose in the brain of patients with Alzheimer disease


Processed by lipases in the gut to medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs); MCFAs under obligate oxidation in the liver and beta-oxidation in the liver mitochondria to form acetyl-CoA and acetoacetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA and acetoacetyl-CoA when in excess are combined to form 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) which forms acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate (ie, ketone bodies) by HMG-CoA lyase.

Use: Labeled Indications

Alzheimer disease: For clinical dietary management of the metabolic processes associated with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (AD). Caprylidene is a medical food containing a proprietary formulation of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), specifically caprylic triglyceride.

Note: A medical food is formulated to be administered enterally under the supervision of a physician and is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements are established by medical evaluation. Medical foods are not drugs and, therefore, are not subject to any FDA regulatory requirements that specifically apply to drugs (eg, premarket review or approval or proof of safety and efficacy).


Allergy to milk or soy

Dosing: Adult

Alzheimer disease (AD): Oral: Initial: 10 g once daily for 2 days; increase dose in 10 g increments every 2 days until reaching 40 g once daily on day 7; titrate slower if the patient experiences adverse events; Maintenance: 40 g once daily

Note: If adverse events occur, discontinue caprylidene until symptoms resolve (generally within 2 to 3 days). Over-the-counter medications such as simethicone, antacids, and antidiarrheals may be useful for treating mild to moderate GI side effects. Restart caprylidene with the initial dose.


Oral: The contents of each packet of caprylidene should be added to 4 to 8 oz (118 to 236 mL) of water or other liquids, shaken or blended until fully mixed, and consumed 15 to 30 minutes after a full meal (preferably breakfast or lunch). Consumption following meals containing fats and proteins or adding ice to the drink may slow the digestion of MCTs and reduce the likelihood of developing GI symptoms; tolerability can also be improved if the drink is sipped over 30 minutes instead of consumed all at once.


Store at 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F), sealed and protected from light and moisture. Reconstituted product may be refrigerated and stored for up to 24 hours. Refrigerated product should be re-blended and thoroughly mixed prior to consumption.

Drug Interactions

There are no known significant interactions.

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified.

>10%: Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea (10% to 24%), nausea (10% to 20%), abdominal distention (17%), flatulence (15% to 17%)

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Hypertension (5%)

Central nervous system: Dizziness (7%), headache (6%), fatigue (4%), pain (4%)

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain (10%), dyspepsia (9%)

Respiratory: Cough (4%), rhinitis (4%)

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Abdominal distress, GI inflammation (exacerbation), increased blood urea nitrogen, increased serum creatinine, increased serum triglycerides, increased uric acid, syncope


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Ketoacidosis: Use with caution in patients at risk for ketoacidosis such as patients with a history of alcohol abuse and poorly controlled diabetes.

Disease-related concerns:

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with a history of bradycardia, hypotension, or among patients taking medications that may induce these effects (eg, antihypertensives and cholinesterase inhibitors); fainting and dizziness has been infrequently reported among these groups. Use a gradual dose titration in patients at risk and emphasize administration after meals.

• Gastrointestinal disease: Gastrointestinal (GI) adverse effects (eg, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dyspepsia) may result due to the rapid hydrolysis of medium-chain triglycerides in the gut and the resultant accumulation of high concentration of medium-chain fatty acids in the small intestine. Severe episodic diarrhea may occur with overusage. Use with caution in patients with a history of GI inflammatory conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, chronic gastritis, and severe gastroesophageal reflux disease. OTC medications such as simethicone, antacids, and antidiarrheals may be useful for treating mild to moderate GI effects; advise patients to see healthcare provider if symptoms persist.

• Metabolic syndrome: Elevated triglyceride values have been observed in patients with probable metabolic syndrome. Periodically monitor triglyceride levels in patients who meet at least 3 of the following 5 criteria indicative of metabolic syndrome: Elevated waist circumference (≥40 inches in men, ≥35 inches in women), blood pressure ≥130/85 mm Hg, triglyceride ≥150 mg/dL, reduced fasting HDL (<40 mg/dL in men, <50 mg/dL in women), and fasting glucose ≥100 mg/dL.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with a history of renal dysfunction; mild increases in blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, or uric acid were reported in clinical trials. Routine renal function monitoring is recommended in patients with a history of renal dysfunction.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Component ingredients: Product contains caseinate (milk-derived protein), whey (milk), and lecithin (soy). Do not use in patients allergic to these component ingredients or milk or soy.

Monitoring Parameters

Periodic triglyceride levels in patients who meet criteria indicative of metabolic syndrome; routine renal function tests in patients with a history of renal dysfunction; periodic monitoring of hepatic function in patients with hepatic cirrhosis

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to manage people with Alzheimer's disease.

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

• Diarrhea

• Abdominal cramps

• Nausea

• Passing gas

• Headache

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• Severe dizziness

• Passing out

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

More about caprylidene

Related treatment guides

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.