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Nursing pharmacology: Alzheimer's Drugs: Tacrine & Aricept


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What is alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's is a pre senile dementia
What are the characteristics of Alzheimer's disease?
1. Confusion
2. Memory failure
3. Disorientation
4. Restlessness
5. Speech disturbance
6. Hallucinosis
What causes Alzheimer's?
The cause of Alzheimer's still unknown, but there are some theories currently being tested;
1. Deficiency in acetylcholine
How do you treat Alzheimer's?
Because there's no cure to Alzheimer's, current pharmacotherapy is aimed at improving cognitive functioning or limiting disease progression and symptom control.
Name two drugs use in the treatment of Alzheimer's.
1. Tacrine HCl (Cognex)
2. Donepezil (Aricept)
Classification of
Tacrine HCl (Cognex)
Cholinergic (parasympathomimetics)
Mechanism of
Tacrine HCl (Cognex)
Tacrine acts to inhibits the action of cholinesterase, an enzyme that normally degrades the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain. In doing so, Tacrine causes the level of acetylcholine in the brain to increase.
Usage of
Tacrine HCl (Cognex)
Tacrine is used in the treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer's disease.
Cautions involving the use of
Tacrine HCl (Cognex)
- Tacrine must be use in caution for client with preexisting hepatic dysfunction.
- Because the drug also inhibits theophylline metabolism, client uses theophylline should be monitor careful for blood serum to prevent overdose.
Side/Adverse Effects of Tacrine HCl (Cognex)
1. Nausea
2. vomiting
3. loss of appetite
3. diarrhea
4. headache
5. ataxia
6. muscle ache
7. hepatotoxicity.
Mechanism of
Donepezil (Aricept)
Aricept inhibits enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which permits an increase accumulation of acetylcholine in the brain.
Usage of
Donepezil (Aricept)
Used for the treatment of Alzheimer's
Side/Adverse Effects of Donepezil (Aricept)
1. Muscle cramping
2. Nausea
3. Vomiting
4. Diarrhea
5. Insomnia
Nursing implications for Donepezil (Aricept)
Take in the evening

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