Aricept Recall?

Should there be an Aricept recall? Public Citizen does not go as far as to say Aricept should be recalled from the market. But it does offer two compelling reasons why its high dose – 23 milligrams – should be recalled: (1) it does not work, and (2) it has serious side effects.

Aricept (donepezil) is a drug used to treat moderate or severe cases of Alzheimer’s disease.
Aricept was first approved November 25, 1996, for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease at a dose of 5 or 10 mg once a day. In 2006, Aricept was approved for severe Alzheimer’s disease at a dose of 10 mg once a day. Last year, that number was jacked up to 23 mg for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.

Look, if you have moderate or severe Alzheimer’s, you have a real problem that may require aggressive treatment, including treatment that has serious health consequences. But if you accept what this geriatrician from Johns Hopkins is saying, that Aricept is hurting people and not helping, then you should consider that risk is okay but risk and no reward is never okay.