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What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking tacrine if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Tacrine to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)

How Does Tacrine Work?

Tacrine is classified as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It works by preventing a specific enzyme (acetylcholinesterase) from breaking down acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a chemical that aids in many brain functions, including memory, attention, reason, and language. There is some thought that problems with inadequate acetylcholine in the brain may be responsible for some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Clinical Effects

Tacrine has been evaluated for Alzheimer's disease in several different studies. These studies showed that people taking the medicine often had a slower rate of decline in cognitive function ("thinking" functions, such as memory, language, and social interaction), compared to people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients).
In general, a slight improvement was initially seen, followed by a return to a decline in cognitive function, although this decline was slower in those taking tacrine, compared to those taking a placebo.
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Tacrine Drug Information

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