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Drugs reference index «Exelon Transdermal»

Exelon

Generic Name: rivastigmine (Transdermal route)

riv-a-STIG-meen

Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Exelon

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Patch, Extended Release

Therapeutic Class: Central Nervous System Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Cholinesterase Inhibitor, Centrally Acting

Uses For Exelon

Rivastigmine is used to treat mild to moderate dementia (memory loss) associated with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. Rivastigmine will not cure these diseases and it will not stop these diseases from getting worse. However, rivastigmine can improve thinking ability in some patients with these diseases .

In Alzheimer's disease, many chemical changes take place in the brain. One of the earliest and biggest changes is that there is a decrease in a chemical called acetylcholine (ACh). ACh helps the brain to work properly. Rivastigmine slows the breakdown of ACh, so it can build up and have a greater effect. However, as Alzheimer's disease gets worse, there will be less and less ACh, so rivastigmine may not work as well .

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription .

Before Using Exelon

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of rivastigmine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established .

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of rivastigmine in the elderly .

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Oxybutynin
  • Tolterodine

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Asthma, history of or
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), history of or
  • Heart block or
  • Seizures or tremors or
  • Sick-sinus syndrome (heart rhythm problem) or
  • Stomach or intestinal ulcers or
  • Urinary tract blockage or difficult urination—Use with caution. This medicine may worsen these conditions .
  • Low body weight (below 50 kilograms)—Use with caution. The side effects of this medicine may be increased in this condition .

Proper Use of Exelon

This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions .

To use the skin patch:

  • Apply the patch right away after removing it from the protective pouch. Do not cut it into smaller pieces and do not touch the sticky surface of the patch.
  • Apply the patch to a clean, dry, and hairless skin area on your upper or lower back, upper arm, or chest. Do not put the patch over rashes, cuts, or irritated skin. Avoid putting the patch on areas where it could be rubbed off by tight clothing.
  • Press the patch firmly in place with the palm of your hand to make sure that the edges of the patch stick well.
  • The patch should stay in place, even when you are showering, bathing, or swimming. Apply a new patch if it falls off.
  • After 24 hours, remove the patch. Choose a different place on your skin to apply the new patch. Do not put a new patch in the same place for at least 14 days. Do not leave the patch on for more than 24 hours. It will not work as well after that time and it may irritate your skin.
  • After removing a used patch, fold the patch in half with the sticky sides together. Place the folded, used patch in its protective pouch. Make sure to dispose of it out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Try to change the patch at the same time each day. If you forget to change the patch at the usual time, remove the patch you are wearing and put on a new patch. After that, apply a fresh patch at the usual time on the next day.
  • Do not put cream, lotion, ointment, oil, or powder on the skin area where the patch will be placed.
  • Do not expose the patch to direct sources of heat, such as heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated water beds, or direct sunlight for long periods of time.
  • Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying the patch .

Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor. If you have not used your medicine for several days in a row, do not start using it again without talking to your doctor first. You may need to start the medicine again using a lower dose .

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For transdermal dosage form (patch):
    • For dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease:
      • Adults—At first, one 4.6 milligram (mg) patch once a day. Your doctor will gradually increase your dose to one 9.5 mg patch once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .

Missed Dose

If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.

Storage

Store the patches at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions While Using Exelon

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects .

Some people who have used this medicine developed problems such as nausea, severe vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and weight loss. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you have any concerns .

Before you have any kind of surgery or dental treatment, tell the medical doctor or dentist in charge that you are taking this medicine. Using rivastigmine together with medicines that are sometimes used during surgery or dental treatments may increase the effects of these medicines .

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. If any of these side effects occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert.

Exelon Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Bladder pain
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • difficult, burning, or painful urination
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • lower back or side pain

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • increasing muscle weakness
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • loss of consciousness
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • seizures
  • severe nausea and vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • sweating
  • watering of mouth
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Diarrhea
  • discouragement
  • fear, nervousness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling sad or empty
  • headache
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • nausea
  • sensation of spinning
  • sleeplessness
  • stomach pain
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • upper stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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