Aricept (donepezil) improves the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by preventing the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine (ah SEET il KOE leen). People with dementia usually have lower levels of this chemical, which is important for the processes of memory, thinking, and reasoning.
Aricept is used to treat mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Aricept is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. This condition will progress over time, even in people who take donepezil.