Donepezil is a generic prescription drug used to treat dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. Donepezil’s cost may depend on factors such as your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.

Donepezil is used in adults to treat dementia caused by mild to severe forms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Donepezil comes as an oral tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet*. The drug is also available as the brand-name versions Aricept and Adlarity.

For more details on donepezil, see this in-depth article.

* An orally disintegrating tablet melts on your tongue.

The price you pay for donepezil can vary. It may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.

To find out how much you’ll pay for donepezil, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover donepezil. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss donepezil in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If donepezil requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.

Be sure to ask your insurance company whether donepezil requires prior authorization.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about donepezil and cost.

What’s the cost of donepezil with insurance vs. without insurance?

The cost of donepezil with insurance versus without insurance can vary based on several factors.

Factors that may affect your cost of donepezil without insurance include:

  • your treatment plan and drug dosage
  • the form of donepezil you’re prescribed
  • the pharmacy you use
  • the quantity of donepezil you’re prescribed (such as a 30-day or 90-day supply)
  • any savings programs you qualify and apply for

The same factors affect your cost of the drug if you’re paying through insurance. But in addition, your cost with insurance may depend on:

  • your individual plan benefits
  • any prior authorization requirements for your plan

To learn more about your cost with and without insurance, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider (if you have one).

Whether you have insurance or not, you can visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates for donepezil oral tablet and oral disintegrating tablet when using coupons from the site. It’s important to note that Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.

* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline.

Does Medicare cover Donepezil?

It’s possible. To find out whether your Medicare plan covers the cost of donepezil, call your plan provider. There are many different types of Medicare plans, and your cost and coverage depend on your particular plan’s benefits. Keep in mind that your plan may have prior authorization requirements before it will cover this drug.

You can also ask your doctor about the cost of donepezil if you have Medicare.

Donepezil is a generic drug. A generic contains an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered just as safe and effective as the original drug but tends to cost less.

Donepezil comes as the brand-name drugs Aricept and Adlarity. To find out how the costs of Aricept, Adlarity, and donepezil compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

If you’ve been prescribed donepezil and you’re interested in a brand-name version instead, talk with your doctor. They may recommend one version over another. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one version.

Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?

Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell the drug exclusively for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.

If you take donepezil long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:

Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of donepezil if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of the drug. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of donepezil, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for donepezil. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

If you need help covering the cost of donepezil or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you still have questions about the cost of donepezil, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for donepezil.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • What’s the cost difference between donepezil oral tablets and the brand-name version Adlarity?
  • Are there lower cost options for my condition if I can’t afford my donepezil prescription?
  • Is there a cost difference between the donepezil oral tablets and the orally disintegrating tablets?

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.