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Rivastigmine

(ri va stig' meen)

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Why is this medication prescribed?   Return to top

Rivastigmine is used to treat dementia (a brain disorder that affects the ability to remember, think clearly, communicate, and perform daily activities and may cause changes in mood and personality) in people with Alzheimer's disease (a brain disease that slowly destroys the memory and ability to think, learn, communicate and handle daily activities). Rivastigmine is also used to treat dementia in people with Parkinson's disease (a brain and nervous system disease with symptoms of slowing of movement, muscle weakness, shuffling walk, and loss of memory). Rivastigmine is in a class of medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. It improves mental function (such as memory and thinking) by increasing the amount of a certain natural substance in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?   Return to top

Rivastigmine comes as a capsule and solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with meals in the morning and evening. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take rivastigmine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor will start you on a low dose of rivastigmine and slowly increase your dose, not more than once every 2 weeks.

Rivastigmine may improve the ability to think and remember or slow the loss of these abilities, but does not cure Alzheimer's disease or dementia in people with Parkinson's disease. Continue to take rivastigmine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking rivastigmine without talking to your doctor.

If you are taking rivastigmine oral solution, ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's instructions for use. Carefully read these instructions. Always use the oral dosing syringe that comes with rivastigmine solution to measure your dose. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about how to measure your dose of rivastigmine solution.

Rivastigmine oral solution may be swallowed directly from the syringe or mixed with a liquid before use. Mix it with a small glass of water, cold fruit juice, or soda. Be sure to stir the mixture completely. Do not mix this medication with any liquid other than the ones listed. If the medication is mixed with water, juice, or soda, it must be taken within 4 hours.

To take a dose of rivastigmine solution, follow these steps:

Other uses for this medicine   Return to top

Rivastigmine is also used sometimes to treat Lewy body dementia (a condition in which the brain develops abnormal protein structures, and the brain and nervous system are destroyed over time). Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.

What special precautions should I follow?   Return to top

Before taking rivastigmine,

What special dietary instructions should I follow?   Return to top

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?   Return to top

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

If you miss taking rivastigmine for more than a few days, talk to your doctor before starting to take it again. You will probably have to restart taking it at a lower dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?   Return to top

Rivastigmine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

Rivastigmine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?   Return to top

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children.Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store rivastigmine solution in an upright position. Do not place rivastigmine solution in the freezer or allow rivastigmine solution to freeze.Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose   Return to top

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

What other information should I know?   Return to top

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names   Return to top

  • Exelon®

Last Reviewed - 09/01/2008


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