Rivastigmine (By mouth)

Introduction

Rivastigmine (riv-a-STIG-meen)

Treats dementia (memory loss and mental changes) associated with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.

Brand Name(s)

Exelon

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to rivastigmine.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Take this medicine with food.
  • The oral liquid medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with the oral syringe provided in the box. You may swallow directly from the syringe or you may mix the medicine with a small glass of water, soda, or cold fruit juice before taking it.
  • Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it unless directed by your doctor.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using bethanechol, succinylcholine, or other muscle relaxant medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have heart disease or heart rhythm problems, history of stomach ulcers, asthma or other breathing problems, or if you smoke.
  • Some people who have used this medicine developed problems such as nausea, severe vomiting, loss of appetite, and weight loss. This medicine also induced or worsened symptoms, such as seizures or tremors, in some patients who have used this medicine. Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you have any concerns.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. If you have not taken your medicine for several days in a row, do not start taking it again without talking to your doctor first. You may need to start the medicine again using a lower dose.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash.
  • Chest pain.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps.
  • Eye pain, changes in vision.
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Painful urination, change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Red or black stools.
  • Red or dark brown urine.
  • Seizures or tremors.
  • Severe anxiety, depression, mood changes, or thoughts of hurting self or others.
  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache or confusion.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Mild skin rash.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, or upset stomach.
  • Tiredness or weakness.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Weight loss.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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