Cognex, |tacrine

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Generic Name: tacrine (TAH crin)
Brand Names: Cognex

What is tacrine?

Tacrine is used to treat Alzheimer"s disease. Alzheimer"s disease is associated with low levels of a chemical called acetylcholine (ah see til KOH leen) in your brain. The exact way that tacrine works is unknown. However, it is believed that tacrine prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine in your brain.

Tacrine is used to improve thinking and memory in patients with Alzheimer"s disease.

Tacrine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about tacrine?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Tacrine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Who should not take tacrine?

Before taking tacrine, tell your doctor if you

  • have liver disease;
  • have heart problems such as a slow or irregular heartbeat;

  • have a history of stomach ulcers;

  • take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, others), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen), oxaprozin (Daypro), naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Aleve), ketorolac (Orudis, Orudis KT, Oruvail), and others, on a regular basis;

  • have bladder problems or difficulty urinating;

  • have seizures or a history of seizures;

  • have lung problems such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); or

  • need to have surgery.

You may not be able to take tacrine or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Tacrine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether tacrine will harm an unborn baby. Do not take tacrine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is also not known whether tacrine passes into breast milk. Do not take tacrine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take tacrine?

Take tacrine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. If stomach upset occurs, tacrine can be taken with food or milk.

In order to achieve the best result from treatment with tacrine, doses should be taken at regular intervals, as directed by your doctor.

Do not increase or decrease the dosage of this medication except under the direction of the prescribing doctor. Store tacrine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a tacrine overdose include severe nausea, vomiting, watering mouth, sweating, slow heartbeat, slow breathing, prolonged or severe dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, seizures, and collapse.

What should I avoid while taking tacrine?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Tacrine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Tacrine side effects

Seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;

  • changes in the color of stools (black, very dark, or light); or

  • a rash.

Other, less serious side effects may also occur. Continue to take tacrine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;

  • diarrhea;

  • agitation;

  • drowsiness or dizziness;

  • muscle soreness;

  • confusion; or

  • decreased coordination or balance.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect tacrine?

Before taking tacrine, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theochron, Theolair, Slo-Phyllin, others);

  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB);

  • fluvoxamine (Luvox); or

  • benztropine (Cogentin), biperiden (Akineton), clidinium (Quarzan), dicyclomine (Bentyl), hyoscyamine (Levsin, Levsinex, Cystospaz, Anaspaz, others), meclizine (Antivert, Bonine, others), or other anticholinergic medications.

You may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with tacrine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has more information about tacrine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Tacrine is available with a prescription under the brand name Cognex. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Cognex 10 mg-yellow/dark green capsules

  • Cognex 20 mg-yellow/light blue capsules

  • Cognex 30 mg-yellow/orange capsules

  • Cognex 40 mg-yellow/lavender capsules

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ("Multum") is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum"s drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum"s drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:03:26 PM.

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