Discontinuation rate of newly prescribed donepezil in alzheimer’s disease patients in asia

Kee Hyung Park, Youngsoon Yang, Christopher Chen, Yong S. Shim, Jacqueline C. Dominguez, Chan Nyoung Lee, Kyunghun Kang, Hee Jin Kim, Seul Ki Jeong, Jee Hyang Jeong, Zhen Hong, Soo Jin Yoon, Zhen Xin Zhang, Eun Joo Kim, Jae Won Jang, Yansheng Li, Yun Xu, Yu Te Lin, Qiumin Qu, Chaur Jong HuChih Ho Chou, Dongsheng Fan, Nagaendran Kandiah, Yuan Han Yang, Chi Ieong Lau, Leung Wing Chu, Huali Wang, San Jung, Seong Hye Choi, Sangyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The rate of donepezil discontinuation and the underlying rea-sons for discontinuation in Asian patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are currently un-known. We aimed to determine the treatment discontinuation rates in AD patients who had newly been prescribed donepezil in routine clinical practice in Asia. Methods This 1-year observational study involved 38 institutions in seven Asian countries, and it evaluated 398 participants aged 50–90 years with a diagnosis of probable AD and on newly prescribed donepezil monotherapy. The primary endpoint was the rate of donepezil discontinuation over 1 year. Secondary endpoints included the reason for discontinuation, treatment duration, changes in cognitive function over the 1-year study period, and compliance as assessed using a clinician rating scale (CRS) and visual analog scale (VAS). Results Donepezil was discontinued in 83 (20.9%) patients, most commonly due to an adverse event (43.4%). The mean treatment duration was 103.67 days in patients who discontin-ued. Among patients whose cognitive function was assessed at baseline and 1 year, there were no significant changes in scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and Trail-Making Test–Black and White scores, whereas the Clinical Dementia Rating score increased significantly (p<0.001). Treatment compliance at 1 year was 96.8% (306/316) on the CRS and 92.6±14.1% (mean±standard deviation) on the VAS. Conclusions In patients on newly prescribed donepezil, the primary reason for discontinuation was an adverse event. Cognitive assessments revealed no significant worsening at 1 year, indicat-ing that continuous donepezil treatment contributes to the maintenance of cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-384
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Korean Neurological Association.


  • Asia
  • Cognition
  • Donepezil
  • ‌Alzheimer’s disease


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