tacrine (generic name)

It is used to treat mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.
(TAK reen)
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What is this medicine?

TACRINE (TAK reen) is used to treat mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • difficulty passing urine
  • heart disease, slow heartbeat
  • jaundice
  • liver disease
  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma
  • seizures
  • stomach or intestinal disease, ulcers or stomach bleeding
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tacrine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. If this medicine upsets your stomach, you can take it with food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Continue to take your medicine even if you feel better. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • atropine
  • benztropine
  • cimetidine
  • dicyclomine
  • donepezil
  • fluvoxamine
  • galantamine
  • glycopyrrolate
  • ipratropium
  • medicines for motion sickness like dimenhydrinate, meclizine, scopolamine
  • medicines that relax your muscles for surgery
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • oxybutynin
  • propantheline
  • rivastigmine
  • theophylline
  • tolterodine
  • trihexyphenidyl

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Your doctor will need to regularly check your blood to monitor the effect of this medicine on your liver. Check with your doctor or health care professional if there is no improvement in your symptoms or if they get worse.

Avoid alcohol while you are taking this medicine. Alcohol may increase the risk of getting liver damage. Also try to avoid smoking. Smoking tobacco may lessen the effect of this medicine. Ask your doctor or health care professional for ways to help you stop smoking or drinking.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • changes in vision
  • dark yellow or brown urine
  • diarrhea, if it is severe or does not stop
  • dizziness, fainting spells, or falls
  • increase in frequency of passing urine, or incontinence
  • muscle pains
  • nervousness, agitation, or increased confusion
  • pain in the stomach or abdomen
  • slow heartbeat, or palpitations
  • sweating
  • uncontrollable movements
  • vomiting
  • yellowing of eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea

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Last Updated: September 03, 2009
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