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What is tacrine?

Tacrine is no longer available in the U.S.

Tacrine is a drug that works on the central nervous system to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Tacrine belongs to a class of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. The medication works by slowing down the breakdown of acetylcholine (ACh), an important chemical messenger in the brain. ACh helps with thinking ability and other brain functions. As Alzheimer's disease progresses, levels of ACh decrease in the brain and tacrine may have less of an effect. Tacrine is available in capsule form and goes by the brand name Cognex.

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