Effects of donepezil on liver and kidney functions for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Erbayraktar Z., Evlice A., Yener G., Ulusu N. N.

JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE NEUROSCIENCE, vol.16, no.3, pp.335-346, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.3233/jin-170020
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.335-346
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of medication with donepezil (acetylcholinesterase inhibitor) on the liver and kidney function in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to compare the effects of donepezil medication during short (one month) and long term (six years) follow-ups. We evaluated female and male patients from Cukurova [42 AD patients; short term (5 mg/day)] and Dokuz Eylul [68 AD patients; long term (10 mg/day)] University Hospital. The results compared with the geriatric population without dementia in other words who are not in medication with donepezil. For short term evaluation all subjects underwent periodic examination with tests regarding hepatic and renal functions; firstly, before starting treatment and then repeated one month later. For long term evaluation all subjects underwent periodic examination with tests regarding hepatic and renal functions; three times at the end of each two consecutive years of treatment with donepezil. AD patients' results were also compared with 79 neurologically healthy geriatric patients without dementia who were over 65 years of age and were not receiving medication with donepezil. For this task, serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels are used to predict possible liver damage, while the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (CRE) levels for kidney damage. No significant difference between the groups regarding the routine control of biochemical parameters was observed in short term drug medication. In long term patients' group; the effects of two years use of donepezil on renal and hepatic function were also evaluated and levels of AST, ALT, BUN and CRE were found to be increased significantly compared to pretreatment levels. But, they remained in the reference intervals. However, levels of AST and ALT at the end of the fourth year of therapy were similar to those measured at the end of the second year, levels of BUN and CRE continuing to increase with staying below the reference limits. Functional markers obtained at the end of the sixth year of therapy were not differing from those of the fourth year. No significant difference was found during comparisons within the results of the neurologically healthy geriatric patient group. During comparisons between the two groups, measurements obtained at all-time points were significantly high in donepezil treated AD patients. We concluded that customized dosage according to hepatic and renal functions is necessary for using acetylcholinesterase inhibitor in AD patients.