FDA Approves Shionogi Pharma's Cognex

Treating mild to moderate dementia (eg, impairment of memory or judgement, abstract thinking, changes in personality) in patients with Alzheimer disease.

Cognex is a cholinesterase inhibitor. It works by increasing the amount of a certain substance (acetylcholine) in the brain. This may help reduce symptoms of dementia in patients with Alzheimer disease.

Medications for Alzheimer's disease

Cognex, also called Tacrine. Cognex is a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It was the first drug that was approved in 1993 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was a major step forward in the treatment of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Cognex is now one of the least popular medications for Alzheimer's disease for three main reasons: Cognex has to be taken four times a day, people taking Cognex often experience unpleasant side effects, one of the serious side effects is that it can cause liver damage. Consequently liver blood tests have to be carried out on a very regular basis.

How Cognex works

Cognex, in common with the other drugs called Cholinesterase Inhibitors works by delaying the break down of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine helps communication between the nerve cells and is important for memory.

Why It's Prescribed

To slow progression of symptoms during the early stages of Alzheimer's. Because side effects can be severe, however, this drug is now rarely prescribed.

Who Benefits

Provides modest benefits in only about a third of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's. The disease will continue to progress despite treatment.

How it Works

Slows the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical that aids memory by transmitting messages between brain cells.

Cognex® (tacrine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Although the medication is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, it can help slow down the worsening of Alzheimer's symptoms (and may even temporarily improve such symptoms).