Drug Interactions

Effect of Donepezil hydrochloride (ARICEPT®) 23 mg tablets on the Metabolism of Other Drugs

No in vivo clinical trials have investigated the effect of donepezil hydrochloride on the clearance of drugs metabolized by CYP 3A4 (e.g., cisapride, terfenadine) or by CYP 2D6 (e.g. imipramine). However, in vitro studies show a low rate of binding to these enzymes (mean Ki about 50-130 μM), that, given the therapeutic plasma concentrations of donepezil (164 nM), indicates little likelihood of interference. Whether Donepezil hydrochloride (ARICEPT®) 23 mg tablets has any potential for enzyme induction is not known. Formal pharmacokinetic studies evaluated the potential of donepezil for interaction with theophylline, cimetidine, warfarin, digoxin and ketoconazole. No effects of donepezil on the pharmacokinetics of these drugs were observed.

Effect of Other Drugs on the Metabolism of Donepezil hydrochloride (ARICEPT®) 23 mg tablets

Ketoconazole and quinidine, inhibitors of CYP450, 3A4 and 2D6, respectively, inhibit donepezil metabolism in vitro. Whether there is a clinical effect of quinidine is not known. In a 7-day crossover study in 18 healthy volunteers, ketoconazole (200 mg q.d.) increased mean donepezil (5 mg q.d.) concentrations (AUC0-24 and Cmax) by 36%. The clinical relevance of this increase in concentration is unknown. A small effect of CYP2D6 inhibitors was identified in a population pharmacokinetic analysis of plasma donepezil concentrations measured in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Donepezil clearance was reduced by approximately 17% in patients taking 10 or 23 mg in combination with a known CYP2D6 inhibitor. This result is consistent with the conclusion that CYP2D6 is a minor metabolic pathway of donepezil. Inducers of CYP 2D6 and CYP 3A4 (e.g., phenytoin, carbamazepine, dexamethasone, rifampin, and phenobarbital) could increase the rate of elimination of Donepezil hydrochloride (ARICEPT®) 23 mg tablets. Formal pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated that the metabolism of donepezil is not significantly affected by concurrent administration of digoxin or cimetidine.

Use with Anticholinergics

Because of their mechanism of action, cholinesterase inhibitors have the potential to interfere with the activity of anticholinergic medications.

Use with Cholinomimetics and Other Cholinesterase Inhibitors

A synergistic effect may be expected when cholinesterase inhibitors are given concurrently with succinylcholine, similar neuromuscular blocking agents or cholinergic agonists such as bethanechol.