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Rivastigmine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Rivastigmine Exelon, rivastigmine Adult

Rivastigmine - What is it for

​Rivastigmine is commonly used for dementia in Alzheimer's disease. It can help to slow down the progression of memory loss and stabilize memory function for a period of time. However, it does not reverse the disease nor provide a cure for dementia. 

It may be given to you for other reasons. Do check with your doctor what you are taking/using this for.

Rivastigmine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Rivastigmine cause?

All medicines may cause side effects. However, many people do not experience them.

Most of the side effects listed here will improve with time. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if they persist, become bothersome or worsen.

 

Side effectsWhat to do about it
Poor appetite, nausea, vomitingTake the medicine after meals. Eat small but frequent meals to minimize bloating after a meal. Avoid food that is too rich, spicy or has strong smells.
DiarrhoeaMake sure you remain well hydrated by drinking plenty of water
HeadacheConsult your doctor or pharmacist if you need any painkillers
Drowsiness

Do not drive or operate any machinery.

Discuss with your doctor if you can take your medicine at a different time of the day. 

DizzinessGet up slowly from a lying or sitting position
Insomnia

Avoid daytime naps. Limit caffeine intake. Keep a regular sleeping schedule. Instead of looking at electronic screens before bedtime, choose other relaxing activities such as reading a book or listening to calm music.

Discuss with your doctor if you can take your medicine at a different time of the day. 

Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)There may be other causes for this condition. Consult your doctor for further information.
Skin irritation (patch use)Alternate the site of application each time, on skin that is free of cuts or rashes. Avoid applying the patch to the same area of skin until at least 14 days have passed.

 

Serious side effects

Seek medical help as soon as possible if you have any of the following signs or symptoms.

  • Allergy such as rashes, swelling of lips/face/throat, difficulty breathing

Take note that the side effects listed here are not exhaustive. Do seek medical attention if you have other symptoms that you think may be related to the medicine.

Before taking Rivastigmine, what precautions must I follow?

​What do I need to tell my doctor before I take/use this medicine?

  • Drug allergies
  • Pre-existing medical conditions such as heart problems, slow heartbeat, stomach ulcers and fits (seizures)
  • Whether you are taking any other medicines, supplements or traditional medicines. Some of them may affect how this medicine works.
  • In addition, for patch use : if you had a previous skin reaction to medicinal patches/plasters.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Rivastigmine?

This medicine may interact with a number of medicines. Inform your doctor if you are taking other medicines or supplements.

 

Rivastigmine - Dosage and How to Use

How should Rivastigmine be used?

​Take/Use this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the instructions on the medicine label or as advised by the pharmacist.

 If you are taking the capsules

  • Take the capsules after food to minimize stomach discomfort

If you are using the patches

  • Before applying the patch, make sure that your skin is clean, dry and hairless, free of any powder, oil, moisturizer or lotion, and free of cuts or rashes
  • Ensure that the previous patch is removed before applying a new patch
  • Change the patch at the same time each day
  • The patch can be applied to: Upper arms, upper chest (avoid breast), upper back or lower back area on your body
  • Alternate the site of application each time. Avoid applying the patch to the same area of skin until at least 14 days have passed.
  • Activities such as swimming, bathing or showering should not affect the patch. In the event that the patch falls off, apply a new one for the rest of the day. Replace it at your usual time the next day.
  • Avoid  use of heat sources such as tanning beds and hot tubs
  • Do not cut the patch

This medicine may not have an effect immediately. It may take up to a few weeks before the medication can exert its full effects. Continue taking/using it regularly to benefit from it.

Check with your doctor on the duration of treatment that is suitable for you.

Do not stop taking/using this medicine abruptly or change the dose without consulting your doctor.

Avoid taking alcohol while you are on this medicine.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

​If you are taking the capsule

  • Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, with a meal. However, if it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at your usual timing.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

If you are using the patch:

  • If it has been less than 3 days since you last applied the patch, apply one patch immediately. Change the patch at your usual timing the next day.
  • If it has been more than 3 days since you last applied the patch, consult your doctor before applying it again. You may need to be restarted on a lower dose.
  • Do not apply 2 patches to make up for the missed dose

What should I do if I overdose?

If you take/use more of this medicine then prescribed by your doctor, please consult your doctor immediately.

Rivastigmine - Handling

How should I handle Rivastigmine safely?

Rivastigmine - Storage

How should I store Rivastigmine?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#

How should I dispose of Rivastigmine safely?

​Throw away any unused or expired medicines. Inform your medical professional with respect to how to safely dispose of any excess medicines/expired medicines.

 

Rivastigmine - Additional Information

​What are the things I need to know or look out for while on this medicine?

  • Avoid driving or any other activities that requires concentration until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Inform your other healthcare professionals that you are on this medicine as well.
  • Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medicines or natural products
  • Do not share your medicines with others.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medicine.

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