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Precautions and Warnings With Tacrine

There are a number of precautions and warnings with tacrine to be aware of before beginning Alzheimer's treatment. For example, you should know that tacrine could potentially cause stomach or intestinal ulcers, increase liver enzymes, and worsen asthma symptoms. To help minimize risks, make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have and other medications you are taking before starting tacrine.

Tacrine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking tacrine hydrochloride (Cognex®) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Warnings and Precautions for Tacrine

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking tacrine include the following:
  • Tacrine may affect the heart, possibly causing a dangerously slow heart rate. This is probably more common in people with heart conditions but can occur in people without any heart problems.
  • Tacrine may increase the production of stomach acid, increasing the risk of stomach or intestinal ulcers. If you have an ulcer (or a history of an ulcer), your healthcare provider should monitor you closely to make sure tacrine is not making these problems worse.
  • Many people who take tacrine experience an increase in liver enzymes (which is found using a blood test). Often, this is usually mild and does not indicate any problems. However, it can be quite severe and may indicate liver damage. Your healthcare provider should monitor your liver enzymes frequently.
  • Tacrine can impair the bladder's ability to empty, causing difficulty urinating. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop any bladder problems while taking tacrine.
  • It is possible that tacrine could cause seizures or make seizures worse. However, Alzheimer's disease itself may also cause seizures.
  • Stopping tacrine (or decreasing the dose) suddenly can lead to a worsening of Alzheimer's symptoms.
  • Tacrine may cause a worsening of asthma symptoms. Check with your healthcare provider before taking tacrine if you have asthma.
  • If you have a surgery planned, make sure to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know you are taking tacrine, as tacrine can interact with some medications used during anesthesia.
  • Tacrine can potentially interact with several medications (see Drug Interactions With Tacrine).
  • Tacrine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Cognex and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known whether tacrine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Cognex and Breastfeeding).
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Tacrine Drug Information

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