Matrix type transdermal films of donepezil (DNP) as an alternative delivery approach was designed to improve patient compliance to Alzheimer disease treatment. Sodium alginate, a natural polysaccharide, was used as matrix-forming agent in the optimization of transdermal films. Propylene glycol and dl-limonene was added into films as a plasticizer and permeation enhancer, respectively. As well as mechanical strength and bioadhesiveness of optimized transdermal films of DNP, the impact of dl-limonene concentration in films on DNP in vitro permeation across pig skin was assessed. Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) measurements were carried out to examine the effects of enhancer on in vitro conformational order of the stratum corneum intercellular lipids following permeation study. Results showed that transdermal formulations of DNP were suitable due to both mechanical and bioadhesive features of the films. In vitro skin permeation study indicated that dl-limonene at a concentration of 3% was optimum with high drug flux. ATR-FTIR results confirmed a more fluidized stratum corneum lipid state in the presence of dl-limonene, indicating its permeation enhancement effect. Regarding to achieve therapeutic levels of DNP, it seems to be feasible deliver DNP with transdermal films for the management of Alzheimer disease.