Exelon (rivastigmine) improves the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by preventing the breakdown of a chemical that is important for the processes of memory, thinking, and reasoning. People with dementia usually have lower levels of this chemical.
Exelon is used to treat mild to moderate dementia caused by Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Exelon is not a cure for Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.
The use of Exelon in in patients under 18 years of age is not recommended.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking rivastigmine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Follow all directions for the proper use of this medication. Read the instruction sheet that is included with this product. Using the provided syringe, measure out the prescribed amount of this medication. The dose may be swallowed directly from the syringe or mixed with a small glass of water, cold fruit juice, or soda. Stir and drink the entire mixture within 4 hours of mixing. Do not store for future use. Do not mix this medication with other liquids. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unclear about how to take this medication.
Take this medication as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily with food, in the morning and evening. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects (such as nausea and diarrhea), your doctor will start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose over 2 to 4 weeks. The maximum recommended adult dose is 6 milligrams twice a day.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Do not stop taking it or increase the dosage unless your doctor instructs you to do so. Do not use this drug more often than prescribed.
If you do not take rivastigmine for 3 or more days in row, talk with your doctor before starting again. You may need to restart at a lower dose.
Before taking rivastigmine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it (including having a rash while using rivastigmine patches); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing/lung problems (such as asthma, COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), stomach/intestinal problems (such as ulcers, bleeding), heart problems (such as sick sinus syndrome, other conduction disorders), fainting, seizures, problems urinating (such as due to enlarged prostate).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite/weight loss, diarrhea, weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, and shakiness (tremor) may occur as your body adjusts to the drug. These effects usually occur when you start the medication or increase the dose and then lessen. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur: slow/irregular heartbeat, fainting, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe stomach/abdominal pain, seizures, trouble urinating.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Q: What happens if I miss a dose?
A: Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
If you miss several doses in a row, call your doctor before taking any more of this medicine.
Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Q: What should I avoid while taking Exelon?
A: Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.