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Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Exelon®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Apo-Rivastigmine®;Exelon®;Mylan-Rivastigmine;Novo-Rivastigmine;PMS-Rivastigmine;ratio-Rivastigmine;Sandoz-Rivastigmine

    • It is used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
    • It is used to treat dementia.
    • It may take 3 months to see the full effect.
    • Rivastigmine raises a chemical called acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine may be involved in memory, attention, and learning.


    How to take

    • Oral:
    • Take at breakfast and dinner.
    • Swallow capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • There is a liquid (solution) if you cannot swallow pills. Take alone or mix with water, juice, or soda before drinking. See facts given with the bottle.
    • Those who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
    • Skin patch:
    • Do not use patches that are cut or do not look right.
    • Do not put on more than 1 patch at a time.
    • Take off old patch first.
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • Put patch on clean, dry, healthy skin on the upper or lower back. If you are not able to do this, put on upper arm or chest.
    • Move the patch site with each new patch. Do not put on the same site for 14 days.
    • If the patch falls off, put a new one on.
    • If the patch loosens, put tape over it to hold it in place.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it, with a meal.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.


    • Store capsules and patches at room temperature.
    • Protect capsules from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Store solution at room temperature. Do not freeze.
    • Protect solution from light.
    • Store patches in pouch until ready for use.



    • If this drug is stopped for more than a few days, call your doctor. This drug must be started at a lower dose to stop throwing up.


    • If you have an allergy to rivastigmine or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.


    • All products:
    • If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor. You may be more sensitive to this drug.
    • If you have seizures, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have a slow heartbeat, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have ulcer disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have trouble passing urine, talk with your doctor.
    • If you weigh less than 110 pounds (50 kilograms), talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
    • Skin patch:
    • Avoid use of heat sources (such as sunlamps, tanning beds, heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated waterbeds). Avoid long, hot baths or sunbathing. Your temperature may rise and cause too much drug to pass into your body.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Headache.
    • Belly pain.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. This may get better once you are on a stable dose of this drug.
    • Not hungry.
    • Loose stools (diarrhea).

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
    • If drug is stopped for more than a few days, dose will need to be lowered.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • A big weight loss.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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