Tacrine (Oral)

Tacrine (By Mouth)

Tacrine (TAK-reen)

Treats symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as confusion or memory loss.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to tacrine or if you are allergic to acridine medicines such as Monacrinreg; (used to treat skin infection or to clean wounds). Make sure your doctor knows if you took tacrine before and developed yellowing of the skin or eyes.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take this medicine exactly as your doctor ordered.  
  • Take tacrine at least 1 hour before meals. If it upsets your stomach, you may take tacrine with food (although you may not absorb as much medicine if you have food in your stomach).

If a dose is missed::

  • Take the missed dose as soon as possible.  
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.  
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store at room temperature, away from heat, light, and moisture.  
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking any of these medicines: Bentylreg;; Cystospazreg;; Transderm Scopreg;; theophylline; Tagametreg;; or Urecholinereg;.  
  • Taking tacrine with aspirin, ibuprofen (Advilreg;), and arthritis medicine (such as Naprosynreg;, Indocinreg;, or Feldenereg;) can increase the risk of developing stomach ulcers.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Check with your doctor before taking tacrine if you have an irregular heartbeat, stomach ulcers, liver disease, or asthma.  
  • If you are having any type of surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking tacrine.  
  • It is very important when you first start taking tacrine that you have regular blood tests to check your liver. Follow your doctor’s instructions.  
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking tacrine or take less medicine than your doctor ordered. Suddenly decreasing the amount of medicine you take may make confusion or memory loss worse.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes  
  • Extreme weakness or unsteadiness  
  • Changes in the color of stools (black, dark-colored, or light-colored)  
  • Chills or fever  
  • Severe nausea and vomiting  
  • Trouble urinating, or painful urination  
  • Seizures  
  • Chest pain  
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache  
  • Muscle pain  
  • Indigestion or gas  
  • Poor appetite  
  • Feeling drowsy or dizzy  
  • Mild tremors (shakiness) or anxiety

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.