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Q: Aricept to Increase Libido. ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Aricept to Increase Libido.
Category: Health
Asked by: johnman-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 30 Mar 2005 09:41 PST
Expires: 29 Apr 2005 10:41 PDT
Question ID: 502711
I have read that the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine in the brain is
responsible for maintaining libido. Since medications for Alzheimer's
Dementia such as Aricept increase brain levels of Acetylcholine, is it
reasonable to assume that these drugs will also increase libido? If
so, can a person without Alzheimers safely take these medications to
boost libido?
Subject: Re: Aricept to Increase Libido.
Answered By: adiloren-ga on 30 Mar 2005 11:44 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Note: The following response is not qualified medical advice but
reflects the web based information available on this subject. When
making medical decisions, one should consult a doctor.

Hello, thank you for the question. It is true that Acetylcholine has a
stimulating effect on one's libido. Many manufacturers of "natural"
libido remedies have taken note of this and marketed products that
claim to boost Acetylcholine uptake in order to improve sexual

Likewise, the logic of your question is sound. The class of
Alzheimer's drugs, known as cholinesterase inhibitors, act to inhibit
the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the acetylcholine.
Thus, the primary function of the drugs are to increase acetylcholine
in the brain.

However, since these drugs are designed for use as a treatment for
Alzheimer's disease, the effects may vary for those without the
disease. Acetylcholine is in short supply for those with Alzheimer's.
The drug may serve to simply allow a more "normal" level of it in
those patients. People with normal levels of Acetylcholine may not
perceive a significant change after ingestion or could be at a higher
risk for side effects  from excess Acetylcholine. It is a non-toxic
neurotransmitter, but it does regulate nerve impulses and could have
potentially debilitating side effects, when in excess.

A key question for YOU to answer, is whether the patient's low libido
is because of a lack of Aceitylcholine. If this is the case, a doctor
could potentially prescribe a drug such as Aricept to rectify the
imbalance. If the low libido has other causes, it seems that the
resulting excess Aceitylcholine from such treatment could be
ineffective and risk side effects. Thus, it is best to contact a
doctor regarding the use of Aricept for such treatment.

Below, I have provided some background information of Aceitylcholine
and Aricept and their respective relation to sexual function. I have
also listed some links to "natural" Aceitylcholine boosters designed
to increase libido.

I hope this helps. Please request clarification if you require
additional asssistance with your question.

Good luck!


Acetylcholine Backround Information:
"Acetylcholine; a small organic molecule liberated at nerve endings as
a neurotransmitter . It is particularly important in the stimulation
of muscle tissue. The transmission of an impulse to the end of the
nerve causes it to release neurotransmitter molecules onto the surface
of the next cell, stimulating it. After such release, the
acetylcholine is quickly broken into acetate and choline, which pass
back to the first cell to be recycled into acetylcholine again. The
poison curare acts by blocking the transmission of acetylcholine. Some
nerve gases operate by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine
causing continual stimulation of the receptor cells, which leads to
intense spasms of the muscles, including the heart."

Acetylcholine and sexual function:
"Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that helps facilitate erectile
function. See Passion Rx for a highly effective libido support product
formulated by Dr. Sahelian for men and women."

MDMA ('ecstasy') enhances basal acetylcholine release
"The pharmacological basis of acute (+/-)-MDMA
(3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) intoxication still awaits full
characterization. According to present knowledge, MDMA enhances the
release of serotonin and dopamine in striatal slices and interacts
with different types of receptors such as 5-HT2 (5-hydroxytryptamine
or serotonin), M1 and M2 muscarinic acetylcholine (ACh), and histamine
H1 receptors."

Excess Aceitylcholine Risks:
"Symptoms of DMAE/acetylcholine excess include: 1) headache; 2) tense
muscles - especially jaw, neck and shoulder; 3) irritability and/or
depression; 4) restlessness; and 5) insomnia. These are not toxicity
symptoms; they are signs of too much acetylcholine in the brain and

"Supplemental magnesium, at a dose of 2-3 mg per pound of body weight,
may serve to rapidly eliminate any symptoms of acetylcholine excess."


Donepezil (Brand name Aricept) Information:
"Donepezil is used to treat Alzheimer's disease. Donepezil is in a
class of medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. It improves
mental function by increasing the amount of a certain natural
substance in the brain."

Method of Action:
"Aricept is a new reversible inhibitor of the enzyme
acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme, which breaks
down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Aricept may allow a greater
concentration of acetylcholine in the brain, thereby improving
cholinergic function. Acetylcholine, associated with memory and
learning, is in short supply in subjects with Alzheimer's disease."
"ARICEPT® (donepezil hydrochloride) is a reversible inhibitor of the
enzyme acetylcholinesterase, known chemically as
hydrochloride. Donepezil hydrochloride is commonly referred to in the
pharmacological literature as E2020. It has an empirical formula of
C24H29NO3HCl and a molecular weight of 415.96. Donepezil hydrochloride
is a white crystalline powder and is freely soluble in chloroform,
soluble in water and in glacial acetic acid, slightly soluble in
ethanol and in acetonitrile and practically insoluble in ethyl acetate
and in n-hexane."

Aricept Overview:
"Donepezil hydrochloride is postulated to exert its therapeutic effect
by enhancing cholinergic function. This is accomplished by increasing
the concentration of acetylcholine through reversible inhibition of
its hydrolysis by acetylcholinesterase. If this proposed mechanism of
action is correct, donepezil?s effect may lessen as the disease
process advances and fewer cholinergic neurons remain functionally
intact. There is no evidence that donepezil alters the course of the
underlying dementing process."

Increased libido is listed as a potential side effect of Aricept:

Special Precautions:
"Before taking donepezil,

*	tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to donepezil,
glutethimide, or any other medications.
*	tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and
nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and
herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the
following: antihistamines; aspirin and other nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil,
Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); bethanechol (Duvoid, Urabeth,
Urecholine); carbamazepine (Tegretol); dexamethasone (Decadron,
Dexone); ipratropium (Atrovent); ketoconazole (Nizoral); medications
for glaucoma, irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, myasthenia
gravis, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems;
phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); phenytoin (Dilantin); quinidine
(Quinidex); and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane). Your doctor may need to
change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side
*	tell your doctor if you have or have ever had an ulcer, heart
disease, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic
bronchitis or emphysema).
*	tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or
are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking donepezil,
call your doctor.
*	if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor
or dentist that you are taking donepezil."

Most common side effects:
"Diarrhea;  loss of appetite;  muscle cramps;  nausea;  trouble in
sleeping;  unusual tiredness or weakness;  vomiting "

Aricept has been approved by the FDA specifically for treatment of Alzheimer's
"Aricept has been approved for the symptomatic treatment of mild to
moderate Alzheimer's disease. Aricept is effective in improving
cognition and patient function in people with mild to moderate
Alzheimer's Disease."

It may be prescribed for other uses by a doctor:
"This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or
pharmacist for more information."


Natural Acetylcholine Boosters for Increased Libido:


Google Search Strategy:

aceitylcholine, libido
aricept, libido
Donepezil, libido
Donepezil, "other uses" or "additional uses"
cholinesterase inhibitors, libido

Request for Answer Clarification by johnman-ga on 30 Mar 2005 16:11 PST
Thanks for the response. Iam assuming that all the varied causes of
low libido operate through the final common pathway of low
acetylcholine in the brain. As such, would Aricept correct this
'chemical imbalance' much the same way antidepressants relieve
depression by increasing serotonin levels in the brain no matter what
the actual cause of depression is? Also would using Aricept in this
way lead to some kind of habituation such that one has to continue the
medication indefenitely?

Clarification of Answer by adiloren-ga on 31 Mar 2005 04:03 PST
It seems that Aricept could potentially restore libido, I agree.  I
don't believe that low acetylcholine is the "common pathway" as you
suggest, however. I believe, there are other neurotransmiters and
hormones that effect libido, independent of their influence on
acetylcholine.  It is an interesting hypothesis though, and I will
look into it further.

As for the habit forming nature of  Aricept, it does not seem to be
habit forming in Alzheimer's patients, and the dosage can be adjusted
to minimize potential withdrawal symptoms etc. But, there haven't been
any specific studies, that I have seen, that focus on the use of the
drug for the purpose of restoring libido.

This is just a response to let you know that I have received your
request. I will get back to you with more information soon.

johnman-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars

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