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Tacrine is commonly used for treating mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. It works by preventing a specific enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. The medication can help slow down the decline of cognitive function, but it is not a cure for Alzheimer's. Potential side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and high liver enzymes.

What Is Tacrine?

Tacrine hydrochloride (Cognex®) is a prescription medication approved to treat mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. Although the drug is not a cure for this condition, it can help slow down the worsening of Alzheimer's symptoms and may even temporarily improve them.
(Click What Is Tacrine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with tacrine. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, many people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or can be treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
Common side effects of tacrine include but are not limited to:
  • High liver enzymes
  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness.
(Click Side Effects of Tacrine to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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